A couple with three children dreamed of having a fourth. Because conception didn’t work naturally, the two Americans, nicknamed Jane and John Doe, turned to fertility specialists. Although they live in Massachusetts, they go to the New York Fertility Institute (NYFI). On April 28, 2020 you have an appointment with Dr. Majid Fateh reports the Washington Post. The latter assures them that the clinic is not “no factory” and that he “will monitor every step” of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process, according to a lawsuit the couple filed in Manhattan federal court on March 25, 2022.
Several failures before pregnancy
The woman performs three egg retrievals at this institute, where one IVF cycle costs $12,730, or just over €11,600. Several in vitro fertilizations and embryo transfers were unsuccessful until she became pregnant in July 2021. This medically assisted reproduction (ART) procedure was performed by fertility specialist Khalid Sultan and embryologist Michael Femi Obasaju. The pregnancy is normal and, as required by the procedure, the obstetrician recommends a routine genetic test to check for possible genetic disorders.
The baby is not genetically that of the couple
This is where it gets difficult. The first genetic test shows that the baby is fine… But that he does not share any DNA with his parents! The NFYI team tries to reassure the couple that it was just a lab error, which Dr. Sultan informs the mother-to-be“You shouldn’t worry”. A month later, a second genetic test is carried out with the same result. The doctor then makes the same statement, telling her that the embryo cannot be exchanged because the transfer that enabled her to conceive was “the only one of the week”. Still not reassured, the Does consult a genetics specialist in October 2021, who recommends retesting.
Here, too, the results are clear: the females are not the biological parents of the child. Nonetheless, claim Dr. Sultan and Fateh continue that Jane is pregnant “his own child”, and the first suggests that the results would be skewed because it would involve mosaicism, a rare condition that causes a person to have multiple pieces of DNA. The couple no longer trust NYFI teams and decide to consult another embryologist. He tried in vain to meet the doctors at the origin of this IVF. Embryologist Michael Femi Obasaju does not meet him and provides no proof that the embryo transferred was actually that of the female.
Desperate, the couple decided to resort to voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG) after nearly 6 months of pregnancy, with abortions legal in Massachusetts for up to 24 weeks, more in special circumstances. Not only did they feel uneasy at the prospect of carrying and having a child that was ultimately not theirs, but more than anything else they feared the impending lawsuit. If the baby’s genetic parents found out about the affair, they could have fought for custody. A similar affair took place in the late 1990s: After an embryo swap, Donna and Richard Fasano had twins, one of whom had white skin like her, the other black skin. They had then endured a veritable legal nightmare trying to retain custody of their two children. And the embryologist who took part in the IVF was none other than Michael Femi Obasaju, the same as for the Does, according to the New York Post.
The couple is suing the clinic
After this terrible affair, the couple is put to the test. Jane and John Doe decide to sue the NFYI, accusing them of doing so “Private” Wife “to bear one’s own child”. “[Ils] are plagued by questions about what happened to their embryos. They worry about whether their embryos have been transferred to another woman’s uterus and whether they have a child or children somewhere that they have never met.”explains the process request. “Each of these errors caused Mr. and Mrs. Doe incredible physical and emotional pain and suffering and ultimately, when the errors were discovered, resulted in the termination of Mrs. Doe’s pregnancy.”also refers to the report.
- How much does in vitro fertilization cost in France?
- How is a frozen embryo transfer performed?