April 18, 2024

Another IVF mix-up creates a child and destroys a marriage

Caucasian New Jersey couple have child with Asian features

Drew Wasilewski and Kristina Koedderich 

For headline writers, IVF is the gift that keeps on giving. The latest kerfuffle involves a white couple from New Jersey who sought help from the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas in 2012 – spending, they claimed in court papers, US$500,000.

When the baby was born to Kristina Koedderich and Drew Wasilewski, it had Southeast Asian features.

A DNA test showed that there is “0% probability” that Mr Wasilewski is the biological father. The strain of the mix-up caused by the clinic’s negligence caused the couple’s marriage to break up. “The last four years have been a nightmare. Why would someone deserve this when they are just trying to have a child of their own?” Mr Wasilewski told the New York Post. “You start questioning everything. What is going on? Is it the wife or is it the hospital? You are filled with all kinds of emotions. You’re confused. It’s extremely hard on your emotions. You don’t know how to deal with it.”

The court has ordered the clinic to compile a list of sperm donors who might be the girl’s biological father. The parents want to know so that they can learn about their now-6-year-old daughter’s genetic history — and give her a chance to have a relationship with her biological dad in the future.

They also want to know if Drew’s semen was used to conceive a child for another couple. “I would very much like to be involved,” he said. “I think, as children, you want to know who — who and where you came from. And — I believe I’m a very good person. And I’d like them to know who I am, as a person, learn about me as much as I learned about my mother and father.”

The couple is seeking unspecified monetary damages, saying the clinic’s mistake caused “great pain, suffering, permanent injuries and disabilities, as well as the loss of enjoyment of the quality of life.”

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge

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