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US couple are compensated for IVF mix-up

20 September 2004
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 276

A black American couple have succeeded in gaining compensation from an infertility clinic after their IVF (in vitro fertilisation) embryo was mistakenly implanted into another woman. The clinic has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to the couple, whose treatment took place in 1998, in return for their agreement not to proceed with a multi-million dollar malpractice claim.

Robert Rogers and his wife Deborah Perry Rogers went to the New York fertility clinic when they had difficulty conceiving. Somehow, during the IVF procedure, a mistake occurred and Dr Michael Obasaju transferred one of their embryos to Donna Fasano, a white woman undergoing treatment with her husband on the same day. While Mrs Perry Rogers did not become pregnant, Donna Fasano later gave birth to two boys, one white and one black. One was her own biological son and the other was the Rogers' biological son.

Originally, Mrs Fasano refused to give up the Rogers' child, despite threatened legal action. But after considering Mrs Perry Rogers' 'years of childlessness', Mrs Fasano agreed to hand the child over - but only if she was granted visitation rights. Mr and Mrs Rogers agreed that they would have full custody on the condition that Mrs Fasano would be able to visit him. Later, when they re-registered the birth of the boy as their own, Mr and Mrs Rogers successfully counter-sued to cancel Mrs Fasano's visitation rights. Mr and Mrs Fasano also sued the fertility clinic and were eventually awarded an undisclosed sum in compensation earlier this year.

Rudolph Silas, the lawyer representing Mr and Mrs Rogers, said that the couple and the clinic 'reached an accommodation', adding 'now they can move on with their lives without this hanging over their heads'. 'I think it is for the best of all of you that this has been resolved', said Justice Eileen Bransten, who supervised the negotiations.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Black NJ couple settles suit against doctor who gave their embryo to white Staten Island woman
Newsday.com |  13 September 2004
Couple settles lawsuit over embryo mix-up
Yahoo Daily News |  13 September 2004
N.J. Couple Whose Embryo Was Mistakenly Implanted in Another Woman Settles Lawsuit Against NYC Fertility Clinic
Kaiser Network |  15 September 2004
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