Australian couple loses court case over twins' birth

Filed under: Your Pregnancy, Gay Parenting, In The News

Nearly a year ago, an Australian couple made headlines when they sued their doctors for transferring two embryos during an IVF procedure when they explicitly said that they only wanted one. There was a mix-up in communication, and the doctor transferred two, which resulted in the birth of the couple's twins. The couple ruffled feathers by suing their doctor for the cost of raising the second child, or about $331,000 U.S.

This week, the couple's case was thrown out of court after a judge decided that the doctor in the case wasn't negligent, but the mother was for changing her mind in the first place and not being clear in her wishes. Australian doctors have come out in support of the judge's decision, while the mothers say they may appeal. They stress that the court case was never about how much they love their now 4-year-old twins, but that they feel the doctor should be held responsible for his error.

It's hard for many people to imagine going to court because you got two healthy babies instead of one. But deciding how many embryos to transfer can be complicated for parents. I have friends who debated about it for weeks, because he really, really didn't want twins, but she really, really didn't want to go through IVF another time and wanted to improve their odds of having a healthy baby. The couple in Australia very clearly wanted one child, and through doctor error got two. I wouldn't have gone to court, I think, because -- like this couple -- I would have loved and cherished the children despite the confusion, and I wouldn't have wanted ever wanted them to feel unwanted. But this couple obviously felt strongly enough to take that risk.

What would you have done?





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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.