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Woman Implanted With Wrong Embryo to Give Birth

Carolyn Savage was elated when she was told her implanted embryo had taken, and she was pregnant with her fourth, and last, child. After her first pregnancy, Carolyn faced a host of life-threatening problems, and two of her children had been born prematurely. Determined to have a fourth child, she and her husband Sean resorted to in vitro fertilization.

And then they received the unthinkable news from the fertility clinic: another couple's embryo had been implanted. After consulting lawyers and the biological parents, the Savages decided Carolyn would carry the baby to term and then give it up to its parents. Although the legal option was theirs, because of their beliefs, they chose not to terminate the pregnancy. Carolyn has decided to have her remaining embryos implanted in a surrogate who will carry and deliver her fourth child.

As advanced as reproductive technology is, we have yet to catch up with ways of handling the ethical dilemmas that arise when things go wrong. What if Carolyn didn't want to carry another person's baby and decided to terminate it? Legally, the biological parents would not have had recourse, but imagine how tragic her decision would have been for all involved. What do you think about fertility advancements? Are they necessary, or should people just adopt or be content with the number of children they have?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 7 years
Everyone's so bent out of shape over the couple wanting a fourth child. Guess what? It's their right, we don't stop the drug addicts from having children and upping their welfare. We don't stop the woman that's already got four kids in "the system" from having another. Why should we condemn a woman for wanting another child and using her resources (ie. in-vitro) to have that? I think she's brave and very selfless for carrying this baby to term just to have to hand it over to another couple. The world may be overpopulated, but that's what happens when you decide to fight Darwin, the world will eventually eradicate us and fix itself. Individuals can't help that the species as a whole has become "too big for it's breeches" so to speak.
Muirnea Muirnea 7 years
There are just so many different issues to discuss in this post. 1) It's extremely crazy that a fertility clinic would implant the wrong embryo in someone. Seriously, you would think they would quadruple check to prevent that kind of thing. 2) I'm ok with fertility clinics for people who have difficulties having children. I'm not ok when it is abused (for example, octomom, Jon and Kate, etc.) 3) I agree that the planet is overpopulated and that as the species responsible, we should do something about it. Also, it's not where people are located, like some above posts have said, it's the effect every individual has on the planet. If everyone had one less child, it would make a HUGE impact on the planet. Think of how many less people that would be put together...a lot. 4) Therefore, the woman choosing to not terminate the baby is both a selfish and a very selfless thing to do. Selfish in terms of the planet, selfless in terms of the "real" mother. "If I controlled the world, there would be population control and the world would run a bit like spacekatgal envisions it, but I don't." Same here.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
For the record, I'm adamantly pro-choice. However, I think that wanting a baby, then terminating a pregnancy based SOLELY on the fact that the baby does not share your genetics would be irresponsible. I don't know whether this makes me old-fashioned or progressive, but I think if you carry and give birth to a baby, it's YOUR baby, not someone else's.
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
I think that God gave us the ability to reason as well as the ability to progress and act. God gives us a moral code which teaches us how to use the the gifts we're given in an appropriate manner.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
"Her not being able to have one the natural way, then getting implanted with the wrong embryo kinda strikes me as God saying "three's enough, I'm cutting you off"" You obviously have no idea what faith is.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 7 years
I believe choosing to have a baby via medical means and terminating a pregnancy are personal choices that I have no business deciding on for others. At the same time, I do believe she was being a bit selfish, and perhaps she realized it and decided to carry the baby to term and give it the the biological parents. If I controlled the world, there would be population control and the world would run a bit like spacekatgal envisions it, but I don't.
gingirl gingirl 7 years
I don't think the point of this article was the fact that she wanted a 4th child, it was more about the horrific news that was given to her. She was planted not with her own embryo, but another couples'! This should not ever happen! I agree with Kimpossible, that it was a very unselfish thing for her to carry that baby to term and give it back to the parents. But it's a person's own choice to decide how many children to have. I don't think 4 is unreasonable, unlike octomom or the Duggers with their 19.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
I guess I'm the only one who sees her actions as incredibly unselfish. She didn't have to carry that baby to term, but she did and she gave it to the child's biological parents. As far as her having "too many" children well that's her choice just as much as it is anyones choice to not have children at all.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
I think it's irresponsible of her to want a fourth kid. Her not being able to have one the natural way, then getting implanted with the wrong embryo kinda strikes me as God saying "three's enough, I'm cutting you off". The planet's extremely overpopulated as it is, and I think it's irresponsible for anyone to have more than two kids. And overpopulation doesn't mean "sitting on top of each other" it's about overfilling the planet's carrying capacity for a certain species. We discovered agriculture, which is kinda like creating an investment bubble. Our population was able to explode beyond it's natural limit (in pretty much every country, including the US), but if something happens to pop our little bubble, like widespread crop failure, our population will plummet to the natural carrying capacity (I'd guesstimate that at least half our population would die, probably more). And you can see overpopulation in the US with the extinction of native species because of habitat loss/urban sprawl/farmers defending livestock/over hunting/over fishing, environmental problems like overuse of resources (oil anyone?), CO2 levels... Though, I am glad she didn't terminate it, especially since the baby was someone else's.
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
Chloe - sadly that HAS happened - there was a case in England fairly recently where a family was notified that a 'lab error' resulted in the 'accidental loss' of their last frozen embryo, which they were planning to use to try to conceive a second child. They were later told that as it turns out, they'd implanted the embryo in the wrong woman and that woman had chosen to terminate the pregnancy. In light of that, I think that this woman's choice to carry the child of someone she didn't even know - a child that she had already begun to become attached to as her own from the time she conceived, surely - knowing she would have to give it to the biological parents at birth is absolutely selfless and very giving, in my opinion.
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
Ali 77 - who's to say God doesn't choose to work through the doctors and scientists He's blessed with the skill and knowledge, the drive to become a medical professional trained in the in-vitro technique? I think that God gives people talents and skills in order for them to be used to the good of people who are suffering, either physically or emotionally.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
"Because of their beliefs, they chose not to terminate the pregnancy." Um, I would hope that if someone wants a baby THAT badly they wouldn't terminate the pregnancy merely because it was someone else's embryo! Everything about this seems very selfish. I know it's a complicated issue, but I feel like in the age of Jon & Kate and Octomom, babies are being viewed more and more as products to be purchased, like a new car or a pet. I mean, it's one thing if you're Brangelina and you can actually provide for them; it's another if your Jon & Kate and you rush into having fertility therapy, only to one day find that you have to turn your life into the Truman Show just to put food on the table.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
they wanted a fourth, they can have one, if god blesses them with one, they are blessed.
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
Well, okay...I can sit here and be like "4 kids, oh my god, what ever shall we do". The truth is in general, humans were probably the worst thing to happen to our planet's health, and there is nothing we can do to fix all the damage we have caused, and we will continue to cause harm. Having kids is just another thing to add to the laundry list of problems. The sun is going to explode in like 7 billion years anyway, or something along those lines. It's not as if we're going to miraculously save all life on earth by not having more than one or two babies, or not having babies at all. I think it's crazy that they implanted this woman with the wrong embryo. I also think its crazy that after issues with other pregnancies, then you'd go for a fourth.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 7 years
Other parts of the world might be overpopulated but I don't think North America is!? It isn't like we are sitting on top of eachther...
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
well I guess i am a narcissist then. and proud of it.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
^^^ ah hilarity, makes my day.
obamamama obamamama 7 years
Isn't three enough? Had to selfishly decide to overpopulate a struggling planet with yet another one? People should realize that their marvelous little babies have no future because every child born in a developed country is an ecological disaster for the whole planet.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
Babies on the brain this week? I think it provides a great opportunity for someone who really wants children, but is unable to on her own. I can't imagine the disappointment if you have your heart set on motherhood. If I were to discover I was infertile, I would consider in vitro, taking into account it's not a fail-proof procedure. Though in this specific case, if I was having problematic pregnancies and I was still able to have three children, I would be eternally grateful and not pushing my luck with a fourth.
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