An IVF twins scandal is taking place after a woman was implanted with the wrong embryos that belonged to another couple. The babies were born August 3 at an unknown location and their birth is recorded on the civil register.
Italy’s The Local reports on this emotional case. The first court hearing happened in Rome on Friday. The incident is reportedly exposing major flaws in the Italian medical system after a couple’s twin embryos were implanted in an Italian woman. The serious IVF error happened at a Rome hospital last December. The mistake was caught after DNA testing in April identified the genetic parents.
Both babies were born via Caesarean section.
According to the report, the parents, identified as Paolo and Francesca, were quoted by La Stampa as saying:
“We need peace… we have already suffered a lot in recent months, for us it’s finally time to be a family.”
It’s believed that the IVF twins were mistakenly implanted in the wrong woman due to “similarity in surnames of the two couples.” They share five of seven letters, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The implantation was done on December 4. There were four different couples that day receiving IVF treatment at Sandro Pertini Hospital in the specialized IVF unit.
Three of the women became pregnant after the procedure, but the “biological parents’ own IVF pregnancy ended in miscarriage.”
Italian law states that whomever gives birth to a child is the mother, but the biological parents vowed to fight the case “at all the legal levels.”
Meanwhile, the other woman who carried the children and her partner, say they’ve tried reaching out to the biological parents:
“We recognize their suffering and this makes us feel bad, but we have been available to meet them. Instead, our request to meet was not even answered.”
Michele Ambrosini is the lawyer representing the birth mother and says that this case is “very difficult and distressing for both couples.” He adds that it’s hard to predict how the judge’s decision will go because “there hasn’t been a precedent case” before.
“Either way, it will be very difficult and distressing for both couples,” Ambrosini says.
Judge Silvia Albano said in an hour-long hearing on Friday that he “needed more time to consider whether the biological parents had the right to demand custody of the children.”
Whatever the judge decides in the IVF twins case, it’ll be devastating for one of the couples.
[Image via California IVF]