Los Angeles (CBS) — A couple caught up in a mix-up at a fertility clinic in California is sharing their story after discovering their son had been born to a stranger across the country. Anni and Ashot Manukyan’s son was carried by a stranger in New York, after CHA Fertility Center mistakenly implanted their embryo, as well as the embryo of another couple, into the woman without anyone’s knowledge.
“I didn’t get to hold him. I didn’t get to have him inside of me. I didn’t get to feel him kick,” Anni said.
The two babies were born March 31 to an Asian couple who thought they had twins.
“They knew the day the babies were born because they had apparently called CHA and told them OK we’re Asian and these children are white, they’re Caucasian. These children are definitely not ours,” Anni said.
The Manukyans said a few days later they were asked by the fertility clinic to take a DNA test. The next day, they learned the stunning news.
“She said, ‘Think of it as a good thing. You have a son now.’ And I just lashed out. What about the woman, you know? What is she going through right now?” Anni asked. “Thank God we got our child back but she ended up with nothing.”
It took another month and a legal battle for the Manukyans to bring their son home.
“It was hard not knowing where your child is,” Anni said. “We just cried all day because we didn’t know if we ever were going to see him.”
Their attorney Adam Wolf filed a lawsuit.
“I can’t see how they could ever trust CHA again. I can’t see how anybody can trust CHA again. This is just a failure of epic proportions,” he said.
CHA has not responded to repeated requests for a comment. As for baby Alec, he’s now bonding with his parents.
“He’s doing great. He’s smiling, he’s rolling over,” Anni said.