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IVF Goes Terribly Wrong in Italy

IVFThe fate of a pair of twin babies conceived via IVF and born last week - to the wrong mother - is now held in the hands of an Italian judge.

The Daily Mail is reporting on the story of two couples who are fighting for custody of twin babies whose fertilized embryos were mistakenly implanted in the wrong mother in a Rome hospital.

It took almost three months for the hospital to become aware of the mistake and inform the genetic mother that her babies had been implanted in another woman. The genetic mother was in turn impregnated with the other couple's child, but it was lost in miscarriage.

When the other mother learned about the mistake, and that she was carrying the twins of the other couple, she said that she "had a moment of human rejection when I knew that they were not mine, or rather ours, that the embryos that I was carrying were of another woman, but then we decided that the pregnancy had to continue . . ."

She told her lawyer, "These children live inside me. I heard them beat on my heart. They grow and are healthy. How can I decide the fate of two creatures so long-awaited?:

Unfortunately for the biological parents of the newly born twins, Italian law specifies that the mother of a child is the woman who gives it birth; however, Judge Silvia Albano has said he might make an exception in this case.

"Judge Albano told an hour-long hearing that he needed more time to consider whether the biological parents had the right to demand custody of the children," the Mail reports.

The case of the two disputing families is the talk of Italy. Both couples intend to sue the hospital where the mix up took place.

The mother who carried the twins said she feels their pain and offered to meet with the biological parents who have not yet responded to her invitation.

The biological parents are also grieving, saying that they were happy the babies were safely born but disappointed that "we did not have the pleasure of holding our newborns in our arms".

The Rome hospital where the mixup occurred has put a halt to all embryo implantations.

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