BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  World: Americas
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 31 March, 1999, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Test-tube baby mix-up
A scientist working in an artificial insemination laboratory
Artificial insemination: Procedure fraught with difficulties
A white woman who gave birth to two boys - one black, one white - due to a test-tube baby mix-up, has agreed to return the black child to his biological parents.

The fertility clinic in New York which accidentally implanted the woman with embryos belonging to another couple as well as with her own has been heavily criticised and now faces legal action.

Both Donna Fasano and Deborah Perry-Rogers tried for years to have children before visiting the fertility clinic in Manhattan at the same time for treatment.

The procedure to implant fertilised embryos in Mrs Fasano's uterus was successful and she became pregnant with twins. But Mrs Rogers' procedure did not succeed.

Then doctors told Mrs Fasano that she may have been implanted with embryos belonging to the Rogers' family as well as with her own.

DNA decision

DNA tests confirmed that she was carrying one child who was not biologically related to her.

Letter from the Fasanos
Fasanos: 'We want what is in the best interests of the child'
She decided to go ahead with the pregnancy. When the childless couple learnt that Mrs Fasano might be about to give birth to their baby, they sued for custody.

Initially the Fasanos refused to respond despite assertions from the Rogers that it would be very obvious whether the baby was theirs because of the skin colour.

However, the Fasanos' lawyer says they have now decided to give the three-month-old child to the Rogers if DNA tests show him to be their baby.

"After a lot of soul searching, they've come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of both the children," said David Cohen, lawyer for the Fasanos.

They are said to be torn apart by the situation and intend to seek visitation rights for the child.

The lawyer for the Rogers says the child's welfare is their priority and they are are amenable to visiting rights. "It's in the children's best interest," Rudolph Silas said.

The doctor responsible for the treatment, Dr Lillian Nash, now faces legal action from both sets of parents. She has made no comment.

Dr Ruth Macklin: "The error should not overshadow reproductive science"
Phillipa Young reports: "What went wrong in this clinic?"
The BBC's Jane Hughes: "The Ferranos have been torn apart"
See also:

31 Mar 99 | Health
IVF: the drawbacks
31 Mar 99 | Medical notes
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories