DNA testing has once again been used to discover mix-ups surrounding in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Two months ago, we reported how a couple who took a DNA test ‘for fun’ were shocked to discover that the husband was not their son’s biological dad. Now, another US couple have again resorted to DNA testing to prove that they had given birth to a stranger’s child.

Daphna and Alexander Cardinale gave birth to the baby girl in September 2019 and say the baby looked nothing like them. DNA testing when the baby was 2 months old verified that they had been given the wrong embryo by a fertility clinic during IVF. The Cardinales are now suing the fertility centre and embryology laboratory for medical malpractice, negligence and fraudulent concealment.

At an emotional news conference, Mrs Cardinale said she was robbed of the ability to carry her own child.

“Our memories of childbirth will always be tainted by the sick reality that our biological child was given to someone else, and the baby that I fought to bring into this world was not mine to keep”, she said.

According to their lawsuit, “The horror of this situation cannot be understated.”

IVF DNA testing options

During the IVF process, doctors collect eggs from the mother and fertilise them with sperm from the father or a donor. Fertilisation takes place in a laboratory and the resulting embryo is then implanted in the mother’s womb. As such, the small risk of a mix-up could result in a woman carrying a child which is not biologically related to her.

AlphaBiolabs offers three IVF DNA testing options for parents in this situation. Two of these DNA tests can be performed after the birth, and a prenatal DNA test can discover any errors before the child is born.

  • A DNA maternity test can ascertain if there is a biological relationship between a child and a mother. It can therefore confirm that the correct embryo was implanted into her uterus.
  • A DNA paternity test establishes whether there is a biological link between a father and a child. It can therefore confirm that the father’s sperm was used to fertilise the egg.
  • prenatal DNA test can be performed before a baby is born to confirm if the sperm donor is the expected father. This confirmation can only be made when the mother is certain she is carrying her own embryo. The prenatal DNA test can be performed as early as 7 weeks into the pregnancy. It is a non-invasive method that requires a mouth swab from the expected father and a blood sample from the mother. There is no risk to the mother or the unborn child when taking this test.

The maternity and paternity DNA tests can be performed on new-born babies by collecting a DNA sample immediately after birth. This simple process just involves rubbing a mouth swab on the inside of the baby’s cheek for about 20 seconds.

A paternity test would also require a mouth swab from the father. The mother would need to provide a similar sample for a maternity test.

Results can be made available the day after the samples are received in the laboratory for €149. Same-day results are also available for an extra €50.

Prenatal paternity testing costs €1,095 for confidential results in 7 working days. An express 4-day service is also available for an extra €200.

For more information on prenatal DNA testing, please read our Learning Centre article.

For further details on peace of mind maternity tests, paternity tests and prenatal DNA tests, please call 0140 294 66 or email us at info@alphabiolabs.ie

Order your DNA test

AlphaBiolabs is an award-winning DNA testing lab. DNA tests start from just €149.