A Los Angeles couple was faced with a dilemma after discovering their daughter of four months belonged to another couple. They have since sued the clinic responsible for the careless switch.
When Alexander and Daphna Cardinale opted to explore IVF to have their second baby, they believed the decision was best for their family. However, they never anticipated their decision would result in a headline-making feud.
The pair, who reside in Los Angeles, patronized a local fertility clinic, where the procedure was completed successfully. Nine months later, they welcomed their second daughter.
The moment the new dad laid eyes on the little girl, he knew something was wrong. According to him, the dark-haired baby looked nothing like him or his wife. He explained:
“It was sort of a primal reaction. It was a little jarring, but I shook it off and cut the umbilical cord.”
For nearly three months, Alexander and his wife raised the infant as their own, dismissing the noticeable differences as childhood traits.
Over time, the man began pointing out those differences to his wife, who was keen on defending the baby, maintaining she looked that way as a baby. Friends and relatives also noticed the difference, making jokes about their newborn looking like someone of a different race.
Their curiosity was spiked further when the fertility clinic they patronized earlier contacted them, asking for a photograph of their baby. Although surprised by the unusual request, the couple obliged, sending out the photo.
Around that time, Daphna grew frustrated with the constant doubts surrounding the baby and decided to buy a DNA test kit to put the minds of her husband and other relatives to rest.
That’s when she discovered the glaring truth that the child was not genetically related to her or Alexander. Upon investigating the issue, she discovered that the fertility clinic responsible for their IVF procedure mistakenly implanted the embryo of another couple into Daphna.
Similarly, they implanted the embryo made with Daphna’s egg and her husband’s sperm into the other woman. The discovery changed their world forever. The shell-shocked mom explained:
“This is something that’s just changed who we are. It’s still a daily struggle, and continues to be.”
The couple soon received a photo of the other couple’s baby, immediately noticing their shared phenotype. In January 2020, both couples decided to swap
for good, ending up with their biological babies.
While the experience was undoubtedly traumatic for both parents, Daphna’s older daughter, Olivia, who loved the other couple’s baby to bits, seemed to take the most blow.
The couple admitted Olivia begged them not to switch babies. However, they couldn’t bring themselves to put up with the harsh reality.
This month, the pair are suing the fertility clinic, California Center for Reproductive Health, and its owner for medical malpractice, negligence, and fraud, among other things.