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Daphna Cardinale and her husband Alexander had undergone IVF, but were immediately concerned when their baby girl - who was born in 2019 - had a darker complexion than their own.
Pushing the doubts aside, the couple were besotted with their little one and raised her for months before finding out that Daphna had actually been pregnant with another couple's baby.
"Alexander and I are devastated. We missed an entire year of our daughter's life. I didn't get to experience being pregnant with her or birthing her. We missed her entire newborn period. We never saw our baby's entrance into the world or cuddled her in her first seconds of life," said Daphna.
"Our memories of childbirth will always be tainted by the sick reality that our biological child was given to someone else. And the baby with I fought to bring into this world was not mine to keep.
"The daughter we raised and bonded with was gone after months of love and affection. There's no way to describe the pain that we've been through the struggle to guide our older daughter through losing a little sister she fell in love with."
Alexander added: "When the truth came to light, it made exchanging the children all the more heartbreaking. Losing the birth child that you now for the genetic child that you don't even know yet. It's a truly impossible nightmare that inflicted trauma."
The lawsuit claims a Los Angeles clinic - the Los Angeles-based California Center for Reproductive Health (CCRH) - implanted the wrong embryo into Daphna.
Both babies, who are both girls, were raised by the couples for almost three months before DNA tests confirmed the news. The two other parents wish to stay anonymous but it is believed they plan a similar lawsuit.
“The Cardinales, including their young daughter, fell in love with this child, and were terrified she would be taken away from them,” the complaint reads, NBC reports.
“All the while, Alexander and Daphna did not know the whereabouts of their own embryo, and thus were terrified that another woman had been pregnant with their child — and their child was out in the world somewhere without them.”
Daphna explains that breaking the devastating news to her seven-year-old daughter was "the hardest thing in my life".
“My heart breaks for her, perhaps the most,” she said.
All four parents have since made an effort to stay in each other’s lives.
“They were just as much in love with our biological daughter as we were with theirs,” Alexander said.
Tyla has contacted CCRH for comment.
Featured Image Credit: Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane and Conway/AP/Daphna and Alexander Cardinale
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