LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California couple is suing a fertility clinic, claiming their embryo was mistakenly implanted in a New York woman, who gave birth to their son as well as a second boy belonging to another couple.
The lawsuit by Anni and Ashot Manukyan describes an alleged in vitro fertilization mix-up by CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles that involves three separate couples.
“What Anni and Ashot discovered, much to their horror, was that their son had been stolen from them when he was still an embryo and implanted into a stranger that later became his birth mother,” claims the suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The birth mother in New York believed she was carrying twins made from her and her husband’s genetic material, the suit says.
Genetic testing confirmed the two infants were not related to the couple and were not related to each other.
The Queens woman and her husband filed a separate medical malpractice and negligence lawsuit in federal court in Brooklyn last week.
The Manukyans, of Glendale, California, endured a court fight before being granted custody of their son, according to the court filing. They are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
“CHA put three families through a living hell, and our lives will never be the same,” Ashot Manukyan said in a statement. “We fought to get our boy back and now we will fight to make sure this never happens again.”
CHA officials did not respond to emails seeking comment. An attorney for the clinic could not be found.
In addition, Anni Manukyan was mistakenly implanted with at least one embryo of a stranger, when she thought the embryo resulted from her and her husband’s genetic material, according to the lawsuit. That implantation did not result in a successful pregnancy, the court papers say.
It’s unclear from the lawsuits who the third couple is or what happened to the other boy.
The Los Angeles lawsuit also alleges the clinic violated a California law that bars knowingly using “sperm, ova, or embryos in assisted reproduction technology, for any purpose other than that indicated by the sperm, ova, or embryo provider’s signature on a written consent form.”