An Italian judge has settled a bitter custody battle for IVF twins by awarding them to the birth mother.
An Italian judge has settled a bitter custody battle for IVF twins by awarding them to the birth mother. The case, which has gripped Italy, is a worst case scenario for IVF clinics. Two women with similar names underwent IVF in Rome’s Sandro Pertini hospital. The embryos were switched and one couple miscarried.
Three months later the woman bearing the twins had a genetic test which revealed that they were not related to her. The genetic parents claimed the twins but the birth mother, Francesca, and her partner, Paulo, are refusing to give them up. Under Italian law, the birth mother is clearly the legal mother.
The babies were born this week by Caesarean section. “We are happy. Very happy: our children are born, they’re very well and we have already registered their birth,” says Francesca. “No one will be able to take them from us,” she told La Stampa.
Although the law is clearly on the side of the birth parents, the National Bioethics Committee has suggested that the couples somehow collaborate in raising the children.
(Has anyone noted the irony that this 21st Century couple is named Paolo and Francesca? You can’t make this sort of thing up. Dante meets another Paolo and Francesca in the second circle of Hell in the Inferno. The heart-rending story of their passionate affair was the theme of many paintings, plays, and operas in the 19th century. Is there a message here about evolving attitudes toward love and fertility?)
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