Daphna and Alexander Cardinale welcomed their daughter in September 2019 after trying to get pregnant for three years. But a DNA test revealed two months later that the baby girl wasn’t their biological child but a stranger’s. The stranger, who remained anonymous, gave birth to the Cardinale’s child a week before Cardinale.
“Genetic testing revealed that the baby Alexander and Daphna delivered and raised for months was not genetically related to them,” the couple’s attorneys said. “Their baby was the biological child of complete strangers.”
The Cardinales got their baby back and are now suing their doctor, the California Center for Reproductive Health, and a third-party embryology lab for alleged misconduct, as well as medical malpractice and negligence.
“We had to play a lot of catchup,” Alexander said.
Daphna added, “We came to [IVF] with incredible vulnerability and trust in our doctor and in the process. We had no idea, at the time, that this greatest potential for joy would bring us such enduring pain and trauma. After discovering the truth of what had happened to our family, I was overwhelmed with fear, betrayal, anger, and heartbreak. It was torture that shook me to my core and forever changed who I am.”
The couple raised the child they birthed for months before they realized what had happened—and they didn’t know of their biological child’s existence until she was three months old. The Cardinales also share an older daughter.
The California Center for Reproductive Health “thought that the embryos had gotten mixed up when an embryology lab, In VitroTech, was taking biopsies to send in for genetic testing,” according to the Cardinales’ lawsuit.
The Cardinales are seeking to recover emotional damages, compensatory and property damages, and various costs, and have also requested a jury trial.