"A woman gave birth to twins and one of them is yours," Anni recalled being told.
A California couple is suing an IVF clinic after discovering another woman obliviously gave birth to their son.
Anni and Ashot Manukyan filed a lawsuit against CHA Fertility Center who they say implanted their embryo in another client in New York, who then gave birth to their son believing it was her own. That woman, who had twins, is also suing CHA after discovering neither of the babies were hers.
A tearful Anni told Today that she met her infant son for the first time in a hotel lobby, six weeks after he came into the world.
"I wasn't there for his birth, I did not carry him, I did not feel him kick inside of me," she said. "Nobody should meet their baby in the lobby of a hotel."
"CHA put my family through living hell," Ashot added.
Anni and her husband underwent IVF, but it failed. They have no idea whose sperm and eggs the clinic had tried to implant her with.
They claim the clinic knew about the mix up; it brought them in to get cheek swabs for what it claimed was a routine test, when in fact it was collecting their DNA to test against the child born in New York, to secretly ascertain their egregious error.
Two weeks later, they finally accepted their mistake: "A woman gave birth to twins and one of them is yours," Anni recalled being told.
But for weeks the clinic refused to provide further information about the whereabouts of their son, or the identity of the couple who gave birth to him, the lawsuit claims, causing untold stress as they did not know if they would ever meet their child.
Eventually, six weeks after he was born, the Manukyans finally got to hold their biological son.
"She said, 'Think of it as a good thing. You have a son now,'" Ani recalls being told by the clinic. "And I just lashed out. What about the woman, you know? What is she going through right now? Thank God we got our child back but she ended up with nothing."
Indeed the woman who gave birth to the babies — the Manukyan's son and a boy belonging to a third, as-yet unidentified couple — initially wanted to keep them.
The Asian couple, identified only as A.P. and Y.Z. in an effort to limit "embarrassment and humiliation", only discovered they had given birth to other people's children after her Caesarean, when the twin Asian girls she was expecting turned out to be two Caucasian boys who weren't genetically related to them, or each other. They eventually handed each baby over to their biological parents.
That couple still do not know what happened to their own biological embryos.