A couple in California is suing a fertility center in Los Angeles after they say they were forced to go to court to get custody of their baby from a woman across the country who had given birth to him unwittingly as a result of the facility’s error, becoming his surrogate mother.
Anni and Ashot Manukyan claim that they were one of three couples to have their embryos allegedly swapped at CHA Fertility Center, according to their lawyer Adam Wolf. “Due to the extreme misconduct of CHA Fertility Center, the number of things that went wrong here is just plain staggering,” Wolf said on Wednesday announcing the lawsuit. “This case is one of the most egregious I have ever seen. It is clearly one of the worst fertility-center tragedies in U.S. history.”
A couple in New York recently filed a federal lawsuit against CHA, claiming they’d given birth to twins that were not biologically theirs. The couple said they spent more than $100,000 on IVF treatment and other expenses at CHA Fertility Center, according to a lawsuit.
Identified in court papers only as Y.Z. and A.P., the couple said they were shocked in March 2019 when they gave birth and realized that the children weren’t of Asian descent, as they are. DNA testing eventually proved that the twins, both boys, weren’t related to them or each other, the lawsuit said. The twins actually belonged to two other couples who were also clients of the hospital. Y.Z. and A.P., who married in 2012, said they were required to give up custody, “thus suffering the loss of two children,” according to the lawsuit.
The Manukyans, who were married in 2007, said that in March 2011, an embryo transfer had resulted in the birth of their daughter. In August 2018, the couple decided to try for another baby with three remaining embryos. They said two embryos were supposed to be used and the third was discarded. The couple said that CHA allegedly implanted another couple’s embryo in her womb. That transfer, however, did not result in a pregnancy, according to the couple’s lawsuit.
CHA wanted to obtain their DNA – under false pretenses – so that CHA could determine covertly whether a child, born on March 11, 2019 to a New York couple as one of two twins, might actually be Anni’s and Ashot’s childюWeeks later, Anni and Ashot learned that they had a son, but CHA refused to provide any further information regarding the identity of the New York couple or the whereabouts of their son. During those weeks of uncertainty, Anni and Ashot did not know if they would ever be able to meet their child. The couple said the baby was almost 2 weeks old when they learned of him.
The couple said they hired lawyers and flew to New York, where they say they learned that Y.Z. and A.P. wanted to keep both babies. According to the lawsuit, after an “expensive” legal battle that took more than a month, a judge granted them custody of the child and the Manukyans were able to return to California in May with their baby.
“I hope that no one ever has to suffer through what my family has been through and I hope that CHA sees this, understands what it did, stops lying and takes responsibility before even more families are hurt,” Anni Manukynan said.
CHA Fertility Center did not return anyone’s requests for comment.
Based on the article by ABC News