Posts Tagged ‘negligence’

Fertility Clinic Makes Expecting Mother an Accidental Surrogate

June 2, 2010

Couples all over the nation find that they are unable to conceive naturally and must turn to fertility clinics for help. No couple expects that when they learn they are going to have a child, it’s not going to be their own! This was the sad reality for Carolyn and Sean Savage of Sylvania, OH, as reported by the New York Post.

After many miscarriages and heartbreaks, the Savage’s finally turned to in-vitro fertilization in 2009. Carolyn soon learned that the process had worked, but was told that it would be her last pregnancy due to prior complications.

Nearly 100 miles away, Shannon and Paul Morell of Troy, MI were also employing in-vitro fertilization as a means of adding an addition to their family. They would soon receive the devestating news that their embryo’s had successfully been implanted… but within Carolyn Savage.

…they got an urgent call from their fertility doctor.


“I’m so sorry, Shannon, but there’s been a terrible incident in our lab,” he said. “Your embryos have thawed.”

But it didn’t end there.

“Your embryos were transferred to another woman,” the doctor said.

Shannon was stunned. “Is she pregnant?” she managed.


Shannon, whose maiden name was Savage, had lost her embryos to Carolyn and Sean Savage. The lab accidentily filed the Morell’s embryo’s in Shannon’s maiden name, and provided them to another couple.  Carolyn Savage had been robbed of the chance to ever carry her own child again.

Having also been informed of the mix up, Carolyn Savage was presented with two options: she could terminate the pregnancy or carry the child to term and give it to it’s biological parents after the birth. Due to strong religious beliefs, Carolyn decided to carry the baby to term and return it to it’s parents afterward.

The Morell’s and the Savage’s agreed to a formal meeting April 27, two months into the pregnancy. Carolyn and Shannon agreed to remain in contact throughout the pregnancy and decided upon the name, Logan, once the baby boy’s gender was confirmed.

On September 24, 2009, baby Logan Savage Morell was born at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. Shannon and Paul drove to the hospital immediately after hearing that Carolyn was in labor, still saddened that another woman was giving birth to their baby boy.

“I wouldn’t say jealousy, but there was sadness that I couldn’t be there for my son and experience the first moments of his birth. And there was guilt that another woman was happy to go through a C-section for me,” Shannon said.

The arrival of baby Logan presented many emotions for both the Savage and the Morell families. The Savage’s made it clear early in the pregnancy that they expected nothing more than a few updates throughout Logan’s life.

“Of course, we will wonder about this child every day for the rest of our lives, and we have high hopes for him,” Carolyn said. “But they’re his parents, and we’ll defer to their judgment on when or if they tell him what happened and any contact that’s afforded us.”

CNN interviewed both Carolyn and Sean Savage; the couple revealed their feelings regarding the entire experience.

Since Logan’s birth, the families have remained in contact. Over Christmas, the Morell’s and baby Logan made the 100 mile journey to visit the Savage’s so that baby Logan could finally be introduced to his surrogate family.

Shannon Morell acknowledges that the Savage’s will always have a role in Logan’s life.

“I think for the rest of his life, he should always acknowledge [Carolyn], on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day. He should always think of her because if she hadn’t done the right thing, he wouldn’t be on this earth,” Shannon said.

The couples hope to one day be able to explain the complicated story of how Logan came into his wonderful existence.

So what happens now? The Savages’ still have five frozen embryos; unfortunately, Carolyn will be unable to carry another child. The couple is looking into a gestational carrier in hopes to still make an addition to the family.

In-vitro fertilization has led to over 40,000 successful live births since it’s first record of success in 1978. When learning of success, can you even imagine the emotional effects of being told that your success will result int he birth of someone else’s child? What further actions can be taken to prevent these ghastly mix ups?