A Californian mother who became pregnant through IVF treatment says she had immediate suspicions the baby was not hers.
Daphne Cardinale and husband Alexander were surprised by the baby’s dark complexion. They ended up caring for the baby for another four months because naturally they fell in love with her and trusted the medical process.
But their doubts nagged and when they did an online DNA test no match was found. Further investigation revealed that she had carried another couple’s baby and another woman had carried theirs.
Cardinale says she was overwhelmed with feelings of betrayal, guilt and anger. ‘I was robbed of the ability to carry my own child. I never had the opportunity to grow and bond with her during pregnancy, to feel her kick,’ she said in a statement to media.
The Cardinales have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking damages from the IVF clinic, the California Center for Reproductive Health, based in Los Angeles. The other set of parents are considering filing also.
The babies, both girls, were born a week apart in September 2019.
Cardinale said the hardest part of the process was telling her older daughter aged 7, that the baby wasn’t her little sister. ‘My heart breaks for her, perhaps the most,” she said.’