April 14, 2024


Now for another quirky moment in the world of artificial reproductive technology, this time from Australia’s capital, Canberra. A lesbian couple has launched a wrongful birth suit after the mother gave birth to twin girls instead of the single girl the couple wanted. They are claiming A$400,000 for the cost of raising one of them up to the age of 21.

The fertility clinic admits that the woman mentioned on the day that she wanted only one embryo to be implanted, but points out that she had signed a pre-admission form in which she consented to one or two.

The woman and her partner allege that the twin pregnancy jeopardised their careers, their relationship and their health. They also had to scrap plans for a trip to England. The mother suffered pre- and post-natal depression and could only work a few hours at a time because of the pain. The couple needed relationship counselling for about 18 months.

One solution would have been foetal reduction, but that would have put the other child at risk. Another was adoption, but that would have been too emotionally wrenching for the women.

The sperm for the pregnancy came from a Danish sperm bank because the father of one of the women was German. The women’s lawyer has asked for their names to be suppressed as it could be distressing for their daughters to discover that their parents had not wanted them.