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September 26th, 2009
04:55 AM ET

Embryo Mix-up: What would you have done?

A woman who had the wrong embryo implanted in her gave birth to a baby boy Thursday. The Ohio couple had already decided to give the infant to his biological parents. And so they congratulated them on the birth of their son.

What would you have done? Leave your comments below. We may use some of them this morning in the CNN Newsroom.

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  1. Pat Verma

    The question has to be answered in two parts . One from the perspective of the biological parents and the second from the perspective of the inadvertent surrogate mother. There is a third joint perspective as well that requires a further elaborate discussion. The altruistic aspect of the accidentally surrogate mother is clearly a strongly desirable trait and due regard ought to be paid for her sacrifice to separate herself from the infant at least for now even though at one time they were connected by the umbilical cord. As a matter of kindness or reciprocative justice she would be entitled to a second IVF from the residual ova if available from the donor couple so she too can have a child of her own. From the perspective of the biological parents who now have this adoptive newborn of their own they could have offered to let the surrogate mother keep this one and may be offer to re-surrogate if the biological couple is able to wait. If I were that couple that type of offer would have been seriously made. A joint parenting of the boy is always a possibility under a third perspective where both sets of parents set terms of raising and relating to the boy. In India Mythology Lord Krishna was such a boy who was raised by an adoptive mother and the arrangement was consensual between the two couples. The final consideration is the best interests of the child who had no choice in the decision making at all.

    September 26, 2009 at 5:05 am |
  2. stanley macneill

    the right thing to do is give the baby to the natural parents and then get a good lawyer to find out what went so horribly wrong this woman should be commended i wish her well and hope she can have another chance to have her own

    September 26, 2009 at 5:46 am |
  3. Scott Stodden

    First of all my heart goes out to this woman who went through something so tragic such as this sort. I would have did exactly what the woman did and that is cry for a while after finding out the truth and then giving birth to the baby for the other woman, its the best gift that any woman can do for something. To the woman who is going through this just know God is going to bless you for giving birth to this baby for the other family. Quite simply as tragic and sad as this is its still not an excuse in my opinion to end a pregancy.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    September 26, 2009 at 6:16 am |
  4. david lacount

    This woman going through the pregnancy is a good one for giving this baby back, the clinic needs to be held accountable

    September 26, 2009 at 6:21 am |
  5. Matthew

    Hi, TJ
    This question isnt about the embryo mix-up, its actually about what Josh Levs was talking about with the XBox chip saving hearts, but I couldn't find the blog on his profile. I understand the chip has the technology to save those people with heart disease and so on, but what device would this chip be put into to save those lives? I thought maybe you guys could explain more into this issue.
    Hope to hear from you guys
    Matt

    September 26, 2009 at 6:31 am |
  6. Nicolette Lamp

    I would have become a surrogate just as she did. This was not her fault and I think she understands that she couldnt punish this embryo from something out of her hands. She did a very thoughtful and brave act for people she didnt even know and I hope this other family truly appreciates the life she has given.

    September 26, 2009 at 7:04 am |
  7. david

    hi, betty
    i think the mother is so great. i'm sure that she expected to their children so much and then turned out that he belonged to other family. she had experienced a terrible time for sure. hopefully, she can recover and get a new one. and i wonder, why all this stuff happened?

    September 26, 2009 at 7:07 am |
  8. Wally

    A great show of morals and good will.Still though the error goes
    without penalty to the clinic. Just to think there are still people that say
    there should be a cap on penalty payment, some just don't see the big picture they just worry about the bottom line.What a shame

    September 26, 2009 at 7:09 am |
  9. David T.

    A life was created, possibly in her mind it was immoral to kill that life. I would also say that she and her husband are having difficulty conceiving. This procedure is expensive and has a low percentage of success I thought. Keeping it so the other want-to-be-mother has a sure child on the way rather then letting her roll the dice is very generous. She should be given compensation. Life is important to the one who owns it otherwise it is cheap. Obviously for people having trouble conceiving it is priceless to them and others in their position.

    September 26, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  10. Calvin D. Johnson Sr.

    Hi TJ,
    First off, I 'm your biggest fan. Secondly, I do believe the baby should be given to the biological parents. It is unfortunate that the surrogate mom was put in this position. All liability, of course, belongs to the clinic. I pray that this unfotunate situation works out for all sides of this perplexing issue.

    September 26, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  11. Caleb B.

    She did the right thing to carry the baby full term... God bless her, Its sad that the clinic made that kind of mistake.. If i were the couple i would take that clinic to town and back, I'd be a proud owner of my own business 😉

    September 26, 2009 at 8:04 am |
  12. Boone

    You asked did they do they right thing?

    They did what was right for them- as for me I don't know how
    I would have handled the situation until I was put into it.

    September 26, 2009 at 8:14 am |
  13. Deb

    I believe that the mix-up proves that human error happens in the medical community.
    All in all if these couples would possiably think about all the already born and here children that need the really nice home they could provide they maybe should have gone the adoption route.
    The fact that God decided that they should not have children should be a REAL big clue that they should choose a different way!!
    Children all over the United States are in dire need of a home and parents ................just a thought!

    September 26, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  14. virginia Cirino

    Good Morning,
    The birth mother of the baby, is definitely doing the right thing.
    Their decision to keep the baby and not terminate was the human thing to do.
    This is the greatest gift and also the greatest sacrifice one can do for another person.

    September 26, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  15. Louise Gibson

    This woman is doing the right thing. She is also making the most awesome sacrifice. WOW!!! If human beings behaved this way more consistently, putting others before themselves, we would live in a different and happier world. God bless her.
    Louise
    Montreal, Canada

    September 26, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  16. John mcmanus

    Betty....
    Must EVERY story that the media encounters, encompass a plea from newscasters like you for dissenting opinions from your viewers? Your request to hear from viewers that may not agree with the way the birth mother and her family handled this represents ALL thats wrong with the media today! This woman and her family behaved in the most unselfish, caring and giving manner imaginable. There is NO aspect of this story that represents negative behavior or decision making on the behalf of the birth mother, she and her family have behaved as Saints in one of the most difficult circumstances unimaginable. Now quit trying to stir up the nuts among your viewers to illicit an outrageous condemnation of a story that represents nothing but goodness.

    September 26, 2009 at 8:26 am |
  17. Mandy

    I think the couple did the right thing; life is too precious to "throw away" this child is a child of GOD and deserves to live just as us we all do.

    September 26, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  18. Irene

    Betty and TJ.......this woman did the absolute right thing. The embryo was another couple's chance to become parents.....and it was THEIR embryo.

    I would have done the same thing. I would consider myself a "surrogate" for the couple (however unintentional). I would, however, sue the clinic for such a gross mistake!

    September 26, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  19. Sheyl

    In this greed-driven world, such an act of kindess and unselfish love is very inspiring. I would have done the same thing, if presented with the opportunity to give the gift of life to someone. Complex situation for sure, but I'm so happy to see that this couple felt the child's life should receive the highest priority in this matter.

    September 26, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  20. Leslie

    I commend this woman for carrying this baby to term and giving the baby to his natural parents. This has to have a remendous blessing and sadness at the same time. To give birth is truly a blessing!! I pray that she will have her own someday. The medical facility that caused the mix-up should be held accountable. This is hardship for all parents involved.

    September 26, 2009 at 9:02 am |
  21. Wm Borda

    Betty & TJ
    I think that the couple that received the baby boy,
    they could do the honorable thing and carry the baby for
    the first couple, of course, if she is able.

    Bill

    September 26, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  22. Leslie Arnold

    I believe giving the child to the biological parents is the right thing to do. Imagine what a gift this woman is offering these parents. I don't think the clinic should be sued. A law suit is appropriate when there was malicious intent. This was clearly human error. A mistake. Things happen for a reason and the biological parents may never have ended up with a child without this situation. As far as the surrogate family having custody too, instead of the courts being dragged into it, the two sets of parents should develop a friendship and a relationship will evolve. The surrogate mother can have another baby that will have her genetic make up. One of the most fascinating things about raising a child is to observe the physical and personality traits that it inherited from its parents. Thank you for listening Leslie Arnold, Lawrenceville, GA

    September 26, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  23. Sarah

    What she did was very couragous and kind. What happened to her embryo?

    September 26, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  24. Bettye

    I think she did the right thing. That's what any good mother would do. She knew the embryo wasn't hers. To terminate the prgnancy in my opinion would have been selfish.

    September 26, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  25. Pat Verma

    The remark that medical facility that caused the mix-up should be held accountable is myopic and misdirectional. There was no wrong doing and nothing worthy of a penalty on the part of the medical team. The extent of the fault is an inadvertence, which must be forgiven because only malice is worthy of admonishing. When it comes to the process of reproduction and there is matter of genetic material involved we must condone mistakes if not promote them. The fact that humans were able to evolve out of chimps and apes was due to the fact that nature made mistakes in the way the genetic material was processed at the time of conception and development. Without such “mistakes” no human would have come into existence. There is a clear need of such mistakes to be made to understand genetics and other aspects of humanity. The fact of altruism shown by the parents of both sides is praiseworthy and desperately needed. And in the spirit of that altruism there are wide gates for forgiveness open to all involved. Let us keep this whole interaction a source of pure joy and celebration only without tainting it with ugliness of any sort. Amen.

    September 26, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  26. Mike Armstrong TX.

    I would sue the pants off the hospital and charge the real parents 50.000 dollars for being a living host to there child .

    September 26, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  27. Pat Verma

    Mike Armstrong With this vindictive attitude why not consider killing the infant as well while you are at it and put an end to this. There is no legal basis for a lawsuit. There has been no malpractice. The "error" in law is within the normal margin of clinical error within the practice of a profession. Doing that complex task is not as easy as shooting someone. Chill out people. This vindictive and selfish attitude has brought humanity at the verge of extinction from global warming. Time to become altruistic, friendly and conscientious. Not angry and litigious.

    September 26, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  28. Pat Verma

    Mike Armstrong I forgot to mention that the process of placing a price tag for the use of female genital system for a non-mutual pleasure giving or for that matter reproduction would be a form of prostitution which is again abhorable and not humane thing to do. No cost ordered.

    September 26, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  29. Yenny Nelson

    I would keep the baby. I carried the baby and it's mine!

    September 26, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  30. Pat Verma

    Law would not permit the accidentally impregnated surrogate mother to keep the baby. The gene pool of the baby is not that of the mother. A property of another accidentaly coming into your poession does not become your property even if you care for it. If you save a cat from car injury the cat still belongs to the owners and you have a duty to return it to the owner. The biological parents are the legal owners of the infant and they woudl sue and win and the greedy mother trying to keep the baby that is not hers would end up paying the legal bills. So your plan is plainly illega. It amounts to theft of infant from a nursary.

    September 26, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  31. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Hey what can I say the hospital screwd up big time and people die when they screw up and the people in charge needs to be held accountable for there mistakes.

    September 26, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  32. Tim Hendon, Hammond, LA

    I know it is hard to imagine carrying someone's baby and then giving it away; however, perhaps this was meant to be.. You have to look at the possibility that perhaps the biological mother would not have been able to conceive and by this mistake, she has been blessed by God.

    Although, I do think the fertility clinic should be held accountable..if only providing free services to the woman that gave birth to the child.. I would say refund all of her money and provide her with free service so she can have her own child!

    September 26, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  33. John mcmanus

    The only wrong in this entire story is CNN's attempts to stir up public criticism against this selfless act.

    September 26, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  34. J. Killam

    I think they are doing the right thing by handing the child back over to its biological parents. Rather i carried that child or not, it wasn't mine to keep. Every person who walks into a doctors office and gets any kind of testing done realizes that there are slight chances of errors or mixups that can occur. Its a horrible thing when it happens. Absolutely horrible. But the fact remains that human error is a fact, it CAN happen. Which is why often test results will be confirmed. This facility realized there was a horrendous error made, and immediately informed all parties. What else could they do in this situation?Maybe NOT say anything, act like it never happened..until they were found out? No! They took the right road. This is horrible, dont get me wrong. I cannot imagine what all the parents involved are going through. But the child in question was wanted, was deliberately made and unfortunately was placed in the wrong woman. There was no intent to mislead here, just human error. I agree with Tim Hendon!

    September 26, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  35. Carly

    I would have had an abortion if I knew I would have to hand over the baby. I don't understand why DNA trumps actually carrying a baby to term. I believe that once the embryo is in someones body and growing, no one should be able to take it away.

    September 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm |