A white couple in New Jersey is suing their fertility clinic after they gave birth to a part-Asian baby.
The anonymous couple is suing the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas after they gave them half a million dollars to help them get pregnant with their own child.
The couple gave birth to a daughter in July of 2013, but they quickly grew concerned when the child started developing Asian features. After going through a DNA test, they discovered that the intended father is not biologically related to the child.
The ordeal ended up being such a strain on the marriage that the couple divorced. They have since blamed the discovery of their child’s DNA for their relationship ending.
Part of their suit is meant to discover the child’s biological father. They claim the fertility clinic must have mixed up the intended father’s sperm with another donor.
David Mazie, the attorney for the parents, said there is also concern that the alleged mix-up at the clinic could have led to the intended father birthing another child. If there is a child with his DNA out there, he says he wants to be involved in that child’s life.
“I would very much like to be involved,” he said in the deposition. “I think, as children, you want to know who – who and where you came from. And — I believe I’m a very good person. And I’d like them to know who I am, as a person, learn about me as much as I learned about my mother and father…”
The fertility clinic is fighting back against the suit saying the release of the information that is being requested would violate patient privacy. A New Jersey judge has argued that this defense does not hold up since the parents are not seeking the information of all patients, but only the ones specifically related to their case. The clinic has been ordered to hand over the specified patient files.
On top of the requested patient information, the couple is also seeking damages from the clinic for the alleged mix-up.
“Even though they love her, they were entitled to have a child with both of their genes,” Mazie said about the case, according to NJ.com.
“What happened to the father’s sperm that he doesn’t know about?” the attorney added. “This little girl is entitled to know her genetic history. She’s entitled to know if there were any medical disorders.”
The lawsuit claims that the daughter inherited a genetic blood disorder associated with Southeast Asian heritage. Neither parent carried the disorder.
The wife said in the deposition that the discovery of the alleged DNA mix-up was quite an emotional experience for the now-divorced couple.
“He was crying,” she said of her husband after they made the discovery. “I was crying. And I called [IRMS] the next day and asked how — could this be possible? Could this really be possible?”
The clinic is still fighting back against the release of the requested information.
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