A couple in Los Angeles, California is suing their fertility center over a nightmarish IVF mix-up, which saw the mother carry a stranger's baby in her womb for nine months.

Husband Alexander and wife Daphna Cardinale reportedly ended seven weeks of their suspicions by taking a DNA test. They said the baby that the woman had given birth to looked nothing like them. They had conceived the child via in vitro fertilization, The Daily Beast reported.

The Cardinales are now alleging the California Center for Reproductive Health (CCRH) of breach of contract and medical malpractice, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress, among other infractions, according to the lawsuit filed on Monday in Los Angeles superior court.

They are seeking punitive and compensatory damages, according to the Los Angeles Times.

They are claiming to be alleged victims of an IVF mix-up, which happens when the embryos of two IVF patients are swapped, meaning either one or both the affected couples would give birth to a stranger’s baby.

In this case, Alexander and Daphna's own child has also been raised by strangers. However, both the CCRH and In VitroTech, its laboratory, remain tightlipped on the issue.

“I was overwhelmed by feelings of fear, betrayal, anger, and heartbreak,” the mother said during a news conference on Monday. “I was robbed of the ability to carry my own child. I never had the opportunity to grow and bond with her during pregnancy, to feel her kick."

The couple wedded in 2006 and naturally conceived their firstborn in April 2014. Two years later, they struggled to have another child naturally and began considering IVF, to which they met Dr. Eliran Mor at the CCRH. They then started their first round of IVF in 2018.

The same year, the couple had a failed implantation and tried again around January 2019, which would become successful. The mother carried the child for nine months and gave birth in September to an infant whose complexion and hair was darker than their own, HuffPost noted.

The suit further contends that the noticeable difference between the newborn’s appearance and the Cardinales was “so jarring” that the patriarch “took several steps away from the birthing table, backing up against the wall.”

“Alexander was so upset that he was staying up at night, staring at their newborn child, wondering if she was truly theirs,” the document noted.

An at-home DNA test would later confirm that the baby was not genetically related to the Cardinales. They immediately hired an attorney and approached CCRH, which verified their claims on Christmas Day 2019 following additional genetic testing.

A representative from the clinic would also inform the couple that the baby biologically belongs to another couple, who conceived and gave birth to Alexander and Daphna's daughter a few weeks later.

In January 2020, the couples met and swapped the babies for good. Meanwhile, the other couple is reportedly planning to sue the fertility clinic but will remain anonymous, according to the legal representative of the Cardinales.

The mother carried the child for nine months and gave birth in September to an infant whose complexion and hair was darker than their own. This is a representational image. Unsplash

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