Court Orders Genetic Test for Identifying Biological Parents in Embryo Mix-up

The Assuta Medical Center in Rishon Lezion had mistakenly implanted a fetus in a woman who was not its mother during fertility treatments.

On Wednesday, an Israeli court ruled that the biological parents of the fetus in question should be identified via a genetic test.

According to the Lod District Court, they should ‘immediately’ conduct a genetic test, as the child is due in a matter of days.

The ruling

The woman who is carrying the embryo in question will not be put at risk because they will conduct the test with tissues that Assuta had previously obtained and sent to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

The court said that if they find a match, then a legal procedure would be carried out for determining who gets to keep the baby’s custody.

However, if there is no definite match for the fetus, then the hospital would be required to test about 40 potential women for identifying the biological mother of the embryo with certainty.

The ruling of the court is the latest development in this case, which seems to be unprecedented in the country.

The woman

However, it should be noted that so far, the woman carrying the embryo has refused to undergo a genetic test for identification of the biological parents.

Some have claimed that it is just a way to stall because she wants the baby to be born, as it would become legally difficult to take the baby away from her once that happens.

The possibility of a legal battle is high because the pregnant woman and her husband have already stated that they intend to raise the child as their own.

This may not sit well with the biological parents of the baby. The to-be father said that his wife had naturally said that the baby was hers and they could not take it away from her.

The possibilities

Last month, Assuta Medical Center said that they had shortlisted the potential mothers from 40 to 10 and it believes that the biological mother of the fetus is not pregnant.

It was also asserted that the said woman had been updated about the situation. She said earlier this month that the experience was a devastating one and also sympathized with the other woman involved.

She said that her husband and she were already going through a difficult process in terms of trying to have a child, so the idea of her baby getting implanted in some other woman was difficult to accept.

But, she also said that she sympathized with the woman who was carrying the embryo and said she wanted to comfort her because they were both victims of a mistake.

Last month, a former employee of the hospital had claimed anonymously that she had seen a number of instances of neglect at Assuta when it comes to handling embryos, but the hospital did not respond to it.

The IVF laboratory manager at Assuta had said a week later that some women who opt for in vitro fertilization end up carrying a baby that is not their own.

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