Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

IVF Patient Given a Stranger's Sperm By Mistake

Posted by Charles Gilman | Aug 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

When a couple has a hard time conceiving a child, they may turn to a fertility clinic for help. Through techniques, including in vitro fertilization, a woman's egg can be fertilized by her partner's sperm. This is a popular treatment to help parents conceive and give birth to a child. However, when doctors don't follow the proper procedures, a stranger's sperm may be used to inseminate a mother's egg.

A couple in Long Island is suing a New York fertility clinic after doctors allegedly inseminated the woman with the wrong man's sperm. Nancy and Thomas Andrews visited the offices of New York Medical Services for Reproductive Medicine after having trouble conceiving their second child. The clinic worked with the couple, taking sperm samples from the husband and eggs from the wife. Shortly after starting the treatment, Nancy Andrews became pregnant.

During the 9-months of pregnancy, the Andrews couple was looking forward to bringing their child into the world. However, after Nancy gave birth to a baby girl, they noticed the child had significantly darker skin than either of the parents. The couple used a home DNA test kit, followed by lab tests, to confirm that Thomas Andrews was not the father of the child.

The couple filed a lawsuit against the medical clinic for malpractice. According to the complaint, the Andrews' intended to undergo an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure so that they would have a child that was biologically their own. The allege the clinic negligently used someone else's sperm to fertilize Nancy Andrews' egg and never told the couple about the mistake.

When the couple first questioned their doctor about the child's darker complexion and African-American features, Dr. Keltz said it was normal, and that the child would get lighter over time. Dr. Keltz suggested the IVF procedure to the couple and performed the implantation of the fertilized eggs. In addition to Thomas Andrews not being the father of the child, the couple is concerned about the uncertainty of the genetic material used for their daughter. They are unaware of the health and history of the unknown donor.

Unfortunately, these types of mix-ups are more common that patients would like to believe. In 2002, a number of fertility clinic mistakes were suspected in the UK. They found a number of errors in fertility clinics, primarily caused by human error. In many cases, parents may be unaware that their child is not biologically theirs. Doctors and clinics making the mistakes are not likely to come forward and admit their errors.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical mistake made during fertility treatment, you should talk to an attorney who will fight for you. The Gilman & Bedigian team of experienced attorneys is fully equipped to handle your medical malpractice claim. Our staff includes a physician and attorneys with decades of malpractice litigation experience. We will focus on getting you compensation for your injuries, so you can focus on healing and moving forward with your life.

About the Author

Charles Gilman

As managing partner and co-founder of Gilman & Bedigian, it is my mission to help our clients recover and get their lives back on track. I strongly believe that every person who is injured by a wrongful act deserves compensation, and I will do my utmost to bring recompense to those who need and deserve it.

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