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Fertility Doc Screw-Up Leads Woman to Abortion at 6 Months, According to Suit


Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty/NY Fertility Institute

A woman who was almost six months pregnant has had an abortion after learning her fertility doctor had given her a stranger’s embryo – about two decades after he allegedly did the same to a another woman, according to a federal lawsuit.

In the lawsuit filed this week in Manhattan, the woman and her husband say they could have terminated the pregnancy earlier, but the clinic, the New York Fertility Institute, continued to make them dizzy and insisted that there was no mistake, even after DNA testing proved otherwise.

The confusion is all the more shocking, according to the lawsuit, because in the late 1990s, NYFI embryologist Michael Obasaju implanted the wrong embryo in another patient, resulting in a white woman gave birth to a white baby and a black baby.

Fertility Doc Screw-Up Leads Woman to Abortion at 6 Months, According to Suit

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty/NY Fertility Institute

“Defendants have a history of mixing, mislabeling and/or outright loss of their patients’ genetic material,” the couple in the current lawsuit, called Mr. and Mrs. Doe, charged.

One of the mothers in the previous case, Donna Fasano, told the New York Post, who first reported the suit, that “all I can say is my heart goes out” to the couple in the most recent confusion. NYFI did not respond to a request for comment.

They had their daughter take a DNA test for Christmas. He discovered a fertility nightmare.

The Dos say their nightmare began with a phone call to NYFI on April 28, 2020, which led to three egg retrievals and a successful IVF procedure in July 2021.

Ms Doe’s obstetrician recommended genetic testing to rule out chromosomal abnormalities, and the couple were stunned when the results that came back suggested she had used a donated egg instead of her own.

“This result made no sense, since Ms. Doe was supposed to be carrying her own embryo,” the lawsuit states.

According to the complaint, NYFI repeatedly told the Does that there was no way the embryos got mixed up, even after repeated tests showed the same results. At one point, he claims, the clinic said the mother must have had ‘mosaicism’ – an extremely rare condition in which someone had two forms of DNA.

It was now October 2021 and the increasingly confused couple decided to undergo amniocentesis to settle the matter. “The proceedings were humiliating, stressful and physically excruciating for Ms. Doe,” the lawsuit states.

“Mrs. Doe and Mr. Doe had to wait almost a month to receive the DNA test results, while suffering the physical and emotional consequences of the stress of the situation, including sleepless nights, nightmares, fatigue , stress headaches and uncontrollable crying.”

‘Clone’ doctor accused of using own sperm on fertility patient

The amnio results made it official: the fetus inside Ms. Doe was not genetically related to her or her husband.

“The complainants did not know how to handle this information. They were overwhelmed and overwhelmed with panic and confusion. They were devastated,” the lawsuit states.

“Mrs. Doe and Mr. Doe didn’t know what to do. They had grown to love this baby, who had already started kicking. On the one hand, they didn’t want to lose her even though she wasn’t not genetically related to them. On the other hand, they couldn’t imagine carrying a stranger’s baby to term, only to potentially lose it in later legal battles against its biological parents, which would be devastating for the entire family. .

When they tried to get further information from the clinic, they were blocked. Meanwhile, the deadline for having a legal abortion was fast approaching.

“Ultimately, Ms. Doe and Mr. Doe had to make the most traumatic decision of their lives. On December 1, 2021, Ms. Doe terminated the pregnancy,” the suit reads.

“Immediately after the termination, Mrs. Doe experienced sharp uterine pain and body aches in addition to a large amount of bleeding. For four weeks after surgery, Mrs. Doe breastfed extensively. Her breasts were so leaky and swollen that she couldn’t leave the house or sleep through the night. When she slept, she had nightmares. She was forced to wait patiently as her milk dwindled. Ms Doe also suffered phantom kicks for several weeks after the dismissal.

In the 1998 case, after Fasano gave birth to twins – one from his embryo and one from a black couple, Deborah and Robert Rogers, a legal battle ensued, with the Rogers ultimately winning custody of their child months later.

Fertility Doc Screw-Up Leads Woman to Abortion at 6 Months, According to Suit

Donna and Richard Fasano leaving court in 1996. Donna Fasano gave birth to two boys, one black and one white, when a doctor implanted another couple’s embryo in her womb. The Fasanos agreed to visitation rights with the black child, now in the custody of his natural parents.

Photo by Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

While not an issue in the current case, the lawsuit indicates that the Does suffered just as much.

“The misconduct of the defendants deprived Ms. Doe of the ability to bear her own child. Mrs. Doe and Mr. Doe are haunted by questions about what happened to their embryos. They must have worried about whether their embryos were transferred to another involuntary couple and whether they have another child or children in the world they have never met,” the complaint states.

“In addition to these fears, the defendants inflicted on Ms. Doe a gross violation of her body. She is tormented by the fact that she unknowingly carried a stranger’s baby inside her body. The horror of this situation cannot be underestimated.

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