A Long Island couple is suing a Manhattan fertility clinic for using the wrong sperm during in-vitro fertilization. Nancy and Thomas Andrews were having trouble conceiving a second child, so they went to the New York Medical Services for Reproductive Medicine to have Nancy's eggs fertilized with Thomas's sperm. But when baby Jessica was born in 2004 to the couple, they suspected something was wrong. From the Daily News:
Thomas Andrews is white and his wife is Dominican. But Jessica, who was born Oct. 19, 2004, has darker skin than either of them as well as "characteristics more typical of African or African-American descent," the lawsuit states.
The couple tested their daughter's DNA using a home kit and later with two more sophisticated methods. All three of the tests confirmed their suspicions - the tot has a different father.
When they inquired about Jessica's skin color, couple's doctor, Dr. Martin Keltz, who had advised them about in-vitro fertilization, allegedly told them that the procedure was done correctly and that Jessica would "get lighter over time."
The couple's lawsuit also states, "While we love Baby Jessica as our own, we are reminded of this terrible mistake each and every time we look at her. It is simply impossible to ignore." Yes, Thomas Andrews definitely looks like the odd man out in this family photograph (from the News), but we must say this: Baby Jessica is really, really adorable. The couple also says, "We fear that our daughter will be the object of scorn and ridicule by other children, both in school and as she grows up." The couple is also worried Jessica's biological father will try to claim her.
State Supreme Court Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam is allowing the lawsuit against the clinic (and its owner, Dr. Reginald Puckett) to go forward. And Carlo Acosta, a "non-physician embryologist who processed the egg and sperm for creation of an embryo," is also liable. However, she did dismiss the case against Keltz, as well as claims that the couple suffered mental distress.
A few weeks ago, a lesbian couple sued a Murray Hill fertility bank for losing six of their embryos.