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Thursday, 11 July, 2002, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
BBC to screen IVF mix-up drama
Michelle Collins plays a childless mother
The BBC has announced it will screen a new drama based on an IVF baby mix-up starring former EastEnders star Michelle Collins.

The announcement comes just days after it was reported that a white couple had black twins following an apparent blunder at an IVF clinic in the UK.

BBC One drama Ella And The Mothers takes as its starting point a similar clinic mix-up, which is only discovered years later.


This terrifying scenario is now a reality here

Debbie Shewell
RDF TV
Michelle Collins plays Gina, a childless woman who discovers six years after her treatment that mistakes have been made at the fertility clinic.

She could be the mother of five-year-old Ella who has been brought up by single mother, Madeleine, played by Juliet Aubrey.

The two-part drama has been made by independent RDF Television and is adapted by William Gaminara from the novel by Rachel Morris.

Executive producer Debbie Shewell, says: "When we first started working on Ella And The Mothers we were asking an audience to imagine the unthinkable - that a mix up at a fertility clinic could result in two women laying claim to the same child.

"At that time such mistakes had only happened in America, but with the recent sad news this terrifying scenario is now a reality here.

Ella
Portrays the "unthinkable"
"While our drama is a fiction, it does focus on the moral dilemma raised by the recent case. How do we as a society decide who is the child's mother?

"Scientifically we can achieve miracles, but where do the moral answers lie when things go wrong and mistakes are made?"

Novelist Rachel Morris, who is the niece of writer Fay Weldon, was inspired to write her novel after reading newspaper reports about a mix-up in the US.

Gareth Neame, the BBC's head of independent commissioning, said: "This is a gripping and passionate drama about the very topical issue of human fertility, and the devastating consequences of a mix-up.

"The desperate struggle between the two women at its centre dramatises the overwhelming emotional bond between parent and child."

See also:

08 Jul 02 | Health
07 Jun 02 | Entertainment
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