For couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), every pregnancy and every child is a ray of hope. But what do you do when two sets of parents have a claim to stake on the same children? When one set gave birth while the other are genetically tied to the child/children? It’s happened in the past, here in the United States, and now two parents in Rome are going through the same thing with a set of twins.
It all started when an IVF clinic in Rome mixed up the embryos of two couples. One mother – the one that is genetically tied to a set of twins that were recently born – ended up having a miscarriage. The other gave birth to the children.
Both parents have similar last names. In fact, there’s only one letter difference between the two. The birth mother learned of the mix-up shortly after finding out she was pregnant. Though she considered a termination at the time, she and her partner ultimately decided to carry out the pregnancy.
“I 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. Our values are these,” the unnamed mother told Daily Mail. “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?”
Though they are not biologically hers, the birth mother says that she wants to keep the children as her own, and she plans to file suit against the clinic for the mix-up. However, she added that she’s not completely oblivious to the amount of pain the biological parents must be going through.
“We feel their pain and we are also suffering,” the birth mother said. “We suggested that we all meet but they have never come back to us.”
Though they did not confirm or deny the statement from the birth mother, the biological parents say that they are “happy that everything went well,” even though they were unable to hold their newborn children after the birth.
Italian law states that the mother who gave birth should be given legal custody of the children. However, after an hour-long hearing, Judge Silvia Albano says that he may make an exception in this case. He has stated that he needs more time to consider whether or not the biological parents have the right to demand custody of the children.
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