After an expectant mother in Rome learned that she was implanted with the wrong embryos, she’s decided that she will carry the twins to term.
According to the Telegraph, the woman, who has not been identified, underwent an IVF treatment on Dec. 4 at the Pertini hospital in Rome, and found out only Monday that the babies she was carrying were not her own. Authorities say the mix-up might have occurred because the woman has a similar last name to another woman who was undergoing the IVF procedure on the same day.
Health minister Beatrice Lorenzin said investigators would look at whether the hospital had “respected all the legal procedures” and expressed concern she had only learnt about the mistake through press reports.
“The national standards on assisted fertilisation, which are based on European directives, are very rigorous, and if applied correctly, guarantee the traceability of all biological material used in the reproduction process,” she said.
The local health authority in Rome said it only became aware there was a problem of “genetic incompatibility” between the parents and the embryos on March 27. It said it has halted all embryo implantations at the clinic until further notice.
The investigation will be led by geneticist Giuseppe Novelli and will look into whether there was any further mix-up of the embryos of two of the other women.
Michele Ambrosini, a lawyer representing the woman pregnant with twins, said she was determined to push on with her pregnancy.
Under Italian law the real mother of the twins has no chance of claiming custody of the children as whoever gives birth is the legal mother.
“Legal claims will be useless to get the twins back,” Lorenzo D’Avack, vice president of Italy’s national bioethics committee said.