Los Angeles Fertility Clinic Sued After Mothers Give Birth to Wrong Babies

Anni and Ashot Manukyan             
    CBS News

Anni and Ashot Manukyan CBS News

The Manukyans are one of three couples who had their embryos swapped by the Los Angeles-based CHA Fertility Clinic, according to the law firm Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane.

"CHA robbed me of my ability to carry my own child, my baby boy ... to be with him in the first moments of his life", Anni Manukyan, the biological mom of one of the babies, and the first one to speak publicly, said in a press conference Wednesday.

A Southern California couple is suing a fertility clinic, claiming their embryo was mistakenly implanted in a NY woman, who gave birth to their son as well as a second boy belonging to another couple.

The Manukyans claim CHA tricked them into giving a DNA sample in the spring of 2019 after the clinic discovered the discrepancy but lied about the reason, calling it a routine test, the lawsuit said.

The pair is now suing their fertility clinic for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, saying the mistake led them to become impregnated with two embryos that were not their own, INSIDER recently reported.

"She is a wonderful woman, and I pray for her everyday [that] God will give her her own lovely babies one day".

The couple reportedly spent over $100,000 on fees and travel expenses associated with the clinic, and have suffered "permanent emotional injuries from which they will not recover". The Queens couple was then forced to give up the babies to their genetic parents.

Mr Wolf said his clients still have no idea whose embryos CHA inserted into Ms Manukyans's uterus.

It's unclear who are the genetic parents of the second baby born to A.P.

Eric Widra, chief medical officer for Shady Grove Fertility in Washington, D.C., said that what happened to the Manukyans and others should never happen at a fertility clinic. "While I have handled hundreds of cases of fertility-center misconduct, this tragedy at CHA is among the most egregious I have seen. It was just - it was heartbreaking, it was bad", she said.

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Anni and Ashot Manukyan have spoken out about the twist in IVF mix-up.

A couple in NY recently filed a federal lawsuit against CHA, claiming they'd given birth to twins that were not biologically theirs.

CHA officials did not respond to emails seeking comment.

The couple said they were granted custody in May and saw their baby boy for the first time, six weeks after he was born.

"It was hard not knowing where your child is", Anni said.

The child was eventually handed over in a hotel lobby, Mrs Manukyan describing the encounter as "heart-breaking" and "terrible".

The Manukyans say they now realize the two embryos that were implanted in Anni by CHA could not have been their own since one was actually given to the NY woman-who unwittingly became their surrogate.

"Until states establish uniformity, having children through surrogates and artificial reproductive technologies will continue to be problematic", Maya Shulman, a Los Angeles family lawyer and IVF legal expert, said in an email statement.

The three couples were all at the clinic on the same day in August 2018 to have embryos transferred. "CHA put my family through a living hell".

He added: 'It's fair to assume there are far more fertility clinic tragedies that happen than we know'.

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