Fertility Clinic Mixes Up Embryos


embryo-mixupCarolyn Savage did not choose to be a surrogate mother. But after a fertility clinic implanted the wrong embryo in her womb, she found herself carrying another couple’s baby. And although her fertility doctor gave her the option of aborting, Savage and her husband never considered that an option. “This was someone else’s child,” she said. “We didn’t know who it was. We didn’t know if they didn’t have children or if this was their last chance for a child.”

Savage gave birth to a healthy boy a few days ago and immediately turned the infant over to the care of his biological parents, Paul and Shannon Morell, who are hailing Savage as a “guardian angel.”

What makes the Savages’ decision all the more self-sacrificing–and heartrending–is that Carolyn Savage cannot get pregnant again due to her age and health complications. The couple plans to seek their own–voluntary–surrogate.

Although embryo mix-ups are extremely rare, they do happen and they rarely end so civilly.  An embryo mix-up in New York led to a lengthy court battle over visitation rights, while a Japanese woman who chose to abort met with much public scorn. While I applaud Savage’s decision and can only hope that I would make the same choice if I were in her place, I certainly believe it was her decision, and hers alone, to make.

Photo: AP