Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Lesbian couple sue doctor for extra baby

A lesbian couple, who have three year old twin daughters, are suing Canberra obstetrician, Dr Robert Armellin, for wrongful birth after he supervised the implantation of two embryos instead of one into the birth mother during an IVF procedure.

The women are suing the doctor for the cost of raising the mistakenly implanted second child. The sum includes funds for private school, medical expenses and lost wages.

The mother claimed that certain aspects of pregnancy were extremely stressful to her - for instance, buying a stroller - due to the fact that she was carrying twins.

The mother's partner claimed in court that the couple became so overwhelmed with every day childcare issues that they lost their ability to function as a couple.


Dr Amellin has admitted that a mistake was made in implanting two rather one embryos. There is an issue about whether the mother changed her mind about one instead of two at the last moment before the procedure.

There has been some criticism that the mainstream media has focussed on the couple because they are a lesbian couple rather than a married, heterosexual couple.

The last time a couple sued when a child was wrongly born (due to the failure of clips for a tubal ligation) the case was ultimately thrown out of court by the High Court on the basis that it was a joy to have a child and the positive impact their child had on their lives.

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