American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
September 22nd, 2009
09:48 AM ET

Mother given wrong embryo in IVF mix-up

A couple's greatest joy has become, in some ways, their worst nightmare. Carolyn and Sean Savage wanted to have another child and they were having trouble, so they turned to in vitro fertilization. Then they learned the horrifying news that doctors had implanted Carolyn with another couple's embryo.

Despite a history of difficult pregnancy, Carolyn and Sean made the decision to carry the child to term and then to give that baby to its biological parents. But they also wanted to tell their story as a possible warning to other couples.

Carolyn and Sean spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Tuesday. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

Kiran Chetry: Carolyn, you're 35 weeks pregnant right now. I understand you actually went to the hospital last night.

Carolyn Savage: Yeah, we just had a little false alarm last night. Being 35 weeks pregnant for me is nothing short of miraculous because I delivered my third child at 32 weeks, my second child at 30 weeks. And so it's been 15 years since I've been this pregnant. I just didn't quite know what was going on last night. So we just went in for safety purposes. And everything's fine. So hopefully we'll be able to squeeze a little more time out of this.

Chetry: Everything's going fine physically, thank goodness. Emotionally, it must be such a difficult time for both of you as you're trying to figure out what to do. Take us back to the beginning. You decided you needed to get in vitro fertilization to be able to become pregnant with your fourth child. When did you realize that a terrible mistake had been made and another couple's embryo had been implanted?

Sean Savage: I received a call, actually, at my desk in my office on my cell phone sharing with us that we were pregnant, but at the same time, that they had transferred another couple's embryos to Carolyn. So the news came simultaneously. And it was absolutely a shock.

Chetry: Carolyn, how did you react when you heard it?

Carolyn: Well, I was at home. The news went to Sean in error. They thought they were calling me and they called his cell phone by mistake. Sean came home and told me right away. It was just a very shocking moment. I couldn't even comprehend what he was saying. I know I was kind of yelling at him, asking him if he was joking. Clearly his physical demeanor indicated that there was no joke about the news he was delivering to me.

Chetry: You guys say that the decision was instantaneous. You were not going to terminate this pregnancy. You were going to carry this child. You also sought the guidance, as I understand it, of a priest as well as some reproductive endocrinologists within this hospital, who said you understand that you're going to have to give this baby to its biological parents. So as you're making all these decisions, explain how you came to the conclusion or at least came to have some peace with the decision that you were going to carry this baby and then give it away.

Sean: Well, that was something that within minutes of learning of the news and after I came home to share the information with Carolyn, we almost immediately came to that conclusion. It was something that there was no other option based on our belief system, based on our history. And so that decision came without hesitation. And some of the other issues and items that followed were very, very difficult to deal with. But we took it one step at a time.

Chetry: I understand. And Carolyn, has there been any explanation given that satisfies you from the clinic about how this happened?

Carolyn: Not to this date. We spoke with the doctor who performed the embryo transfer the day that we were informed that I was pregnant, but it was somebody else's genetic child. After that date and then a few days later when we communicated with him, we terminated all contact with the clinic responsible. We just thought it was best at that point. So no, no explanation to date has been given.

Chetry: It's a tough situation. I can't even imagine what you guys must be going through. Have you thought about legal options? Are you going to sue? Are you going to try to seek monetary damages, try to shut this clinic down?

Sean: We have legal representation and they will be speaking on our behalf relating to those issues. Our focus is right now the health and well-being of the child and the health and well-being of Carolyn. And hopefully a safe delivery in the coming days.

Chetry: Oh, certainly we hope that for you as well. As I understand it, you have established communication with this other family. And how is that whole thing going to work after you give birth, Carolyn?

Carolyn: Well, we obviously – it's a C-section, so hopefully that will afford them enough time. They're not local to us. So hopefully they'll be able to get to the hospital in time to be there for the delivery. They won't be in the O.R. during the delivery, but they'll be close by and be reunited with their son hopefully within minutes of the birth. After that, Sean and I have made a decision that we'll defer to their judgment as his parents as to any kind of contact that may be afforded to us in the role that we played in bringing him into this world.

Chetry: In some ways you look at this as a gift to them? I mean, clearly they were having reproductive issues as well which is why they sought IVF. And because of your tragedy, they're getting a blessing.

Carolyn: Yes. We made a choice, as we've gone along, and it's been exceptionally difficult, but as we approach the delivery, we're trying to frame this situation as a gift to the other family despite the loss that we'll incur. We're bringing a new child into this world and we really believe that it is a gift.

Filed under: Health
soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Flo

    To Bubba, your comments are completely out of line. You're stating that you're not saying she deserved this while blaming her for being in this situation. If a doctor mistakenly removed your kidney instead of your appendice, would you be to blame for going under the knife?? What a horrible thing to say. And if adopting was that easy, there would be no orphans in this country. Get real!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  2. joyce

    I have to agree with the whole theme of moderation when it comes to this story and the desire to have children. We all judge people as a survival tool and so I do judge this person for going to such lengths to creat yet another individual when so many are languishing for want of some love and attention when they already had three children. And yes, it does matter to me when our resources are getting scarcer by the day and the population is out of control. Weather it was a noble act is not known unless we know what the other couple feels – happily they are there to take this child. But perhaps they did not want this couple to keep the pregancy? We don't know. Hopefully it was what all wanted and everything will work out in the end in spite of all the pain this horrible mistake has cost everyone involved.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  3. Chickie

    This is an amazing couple! what a wonderful gift.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  4. Amy

    Carolyn and Sean – you are amazing people. Anyone who has been pregnant knows that there is NOTHING more miraculous on this earth than to grow a baby inside of you and give it life. I too have done IVF with successful results. To those that have never faced the prospect of not being able to conceive naturally, you cannot judge until you have been put in this situation. To have someone tell you that you cannot conceive a baby on your own is EXTREMELY hard, and when a doctor comes along and tells you that they can help you have a baby of your own – it's an amazing thing and one that I would do again and again. I wish both of you, the baby, and the biological parents the absolute best. If only there were more people like you in the world... God bless.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  5. JgriZZLE

    Ok so lemme get this straight... the clinic CONFUSED the embryo AND THEN CONFUSED the cell phone numbers too??? Frigg this clinic – shut it down!

    Though commendable so much to these parents for making the courageous choice they did... but I'm curious as to WHY they would pursue IVF at all? I'm not saying they shouldn't have the family they wish for, but there's MUCH worse things in life then having 3 healthy children.. There's many people that would thank God every day for that.

    And one defense of those of you who are attacking anyone who pursues IVF treatment... IVF ranges from 10k – 25K , adoptions start at 25k – 30K, depending on the service, country, etc. So if adoption was as good an option (which it is) then there should be a more responsible financial median so that the choice may sway in it's favor.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  6. To Kath and Vickilynn

    @Kath and @Vickilynn,

    Before you so rudely criticize other people and advise them to read more carefully, you should do the same yourself.

    "Being 35 weeks pregnant for me is nothing short of miraculous because I delivered my third child at 32 weeks, my second child at 30 weeks."–Carolyn has already delivered her third child, so this is her fourth pregnancy.

    "And so it’s been 15 years since I’ve been this pregnant."–As her second and third didn't make it this far, this implies that her first pregnancy went to 35 weeks (as has her current pregnancy).

    September 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  7. Deb

    I was 22 when I become pregnant the first time, (Married and unplanned). We decided to place the baby for adoption. (My husband had been abused as a child and was afraid of being the same kind of dad) We located a family through a friend. We met on the phone and we knew we found the perfect family for our child. We had a great pregnancy and spoke with the new parents often. They arrived right after her birth. Giving our child to a family that could not have children of their own was the best thing we ever did and the best feeling I have ever felt. I have yet to see such a great full look from anyone else than I recieved from the mother as I handed her her daughter. This was 21 years ago, and we too allowed the parents to make the choice of our involvement. Thankfully we are all great friends and keep in touch. I wish, had I been more mature, that I would have looked into being a surrogate mother for parents who cannot have children. I now have my first daughter, 2 wonderful step children and my 7 yo son, and not once did I regret our decision.

    Good luck and God Bless You!!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  8. J in NJ

    What an amazing couple to be able to carry this baby with love and care and be able to give the baby up to its genetic parents. This family has been through so much, including their children who had expected to have a sibling brought home.

    To those negative folk out there, yes, agreed there are many children out there who need to be adopted, but it is a couples prerogative to pursue IVF if they would like to have biological children. To pursue IVF is not being selfish. Not everyone is fortunate enough to achieve pregnancy easily. IVF is not an easy road – great expense, injections, extreme stress – to go through all of that and discover you were not carrying your genetic child would be absolutely devastating. And if the couple is able to care for a 4th child, who is anyone to judge them for completing their family.

    The Savages also have the right to pursue financial compensation if they wish. This mistake on the part of the IVF clinic delays their own family planning, and even waiting a year or two decreases their fertility and their chances of conceiving their child.

    I admire this couple and marvel at how they were able to take a devastating situation and handle it with such grace. I wish both families involved the best and hope for a healthy birth in the coming days.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  9. marc

    @ bobbie who said "She is braver than me. I wouldn’t carry another womans baby."

    ...and what would you have done? "terminated" the pregnancy?

    September 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  10. Michele

    May God bless this family and the parents of the baby to come. What a wonderful gift to give. If takes a big person to do what she is doing. The blessings she will receive will be great I am sure. You must remember that everything is a test. I would call this a passing grade. God bless you all.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  11. only my don't shoot me

    I personally believe that there are no mistakes in life, that everything that happens, happens for a reason.

    We spend too much time blaming others for things that happen. Yes, in some cases bad things happen deliberately by horrible people, but sometimes things happen, seemingly by accident, that are perhaps part of the bigger picture.

    Maybe this child was simply meant to be, and his own mother wouldn't have been able to support the birth. Just maybe this was the only way.

    And, no, I am not a religious fanatic, just a person that likes to believe that good things come to good people in the end.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  12. Brown

    To the self-righteous leaving comments: IVF is going to stunt us biologically. There is generally a good reason why people are infertile, and most of them should not propagate their impaired genes. I, like others, applaud the couple for not killing the baby; I, like some others, am disappointed in their decision to try to dilute the gene pool to begin with. Whether you believe in macro-evolution or not, micro-evolution has been demonstrated within a life time, and certainly within recorded history. By diluting the gene pool with individuals biologically unfit to conceive, you are hurting humanity. Please stop it. I don't challenge your right to have children; I challenge your sense of entitlement to procreate at the expensive of everyone else.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  13. philygrl

    "JUSt SAYING" is rediculous!! Can't imagine someone sitting in judgement of this couple for wanting to have another child.

    I think this couple is admirable for carrying this child and doing the right thing by the child and the other couple. What a truly wonderful gift! I am sure they will be blessed for their selflessness!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  14. Zhaylin

    What a beautiful story! Of course, the cynic in me wondered how much the clinic would be sued for and how much it annoys me when people sue for outlandish amounts of money.
    But this is one time I would truly understand a large settlement.
    Consider first the cost of the original procedure, then of the cost of seeing the pregnancy through... then, the clinic should also be responsible for their future IVF (if she wants to go through another pregnancy that is).
    All of that adds up and the clinic IS the one who messed up and they should have to pay for their mistake.

    The couple's strength, faith and kindness are inspirational.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  15. Marky

    Having gone through fertility issues myself, I understand how hurt and angry this couple must have been; however, I wonder if any effort was truly made to find out how the mistake was made. We expect constant perfection from every healthcare professional at every level with no errors ever and these people are not God. Did they investigate the facility and know their rate of error? We take chances every day and I would feel devastated if this happened to me, but they stopped communication, got an attorney, and it seems they didn't find out how this happened. She's had 2 preemies, but was willing to risk another? I've seen people did that and ended up with a child who didn't survive or a child who had multiple problems. Who would they blame then? I am not unsympathetic to their situation, but I do wonder why everyone always wants to sue rather than really find the solution.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  16. b

    What an amazing couple... that they are able to see this as a blessing to someone else is incredibly altruistic and inspiring.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  17. Victoria J

    Shame, shame shame on "Bubba" who made such unkind comments and who seems to think babies up for adoption are just hanging from backyard trees, waiting to be plucked down and brought into a loving family. What an idiot to say such hurtful things! Last I looked, we are still living in a free country, and are allowed to have as many children as we choose, in any way we deem possible.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  18. CLW

    Who's insurance will cover the medical bills? That would be the deal-breaker for me to carry someone else's child - I might, but I certainly wouldn't pay for it. It has likely already been worked out among these couples - and likely had alot to do with her decision not to abort. So before you make saints out of these people, think about the costs -monetary and emotionally - I truly don't believe anyone is that saintly - I'll bet they are making arrangements for a lawsuit and big pay-off. Maybe they'll get the $35,000+ and put it towards adoption.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  19. Dougie Fresh

    I agree with Brian H.

    In my best Larry the Cable Guy impression..."Shutter Down!" Close these fools down before they screw up with the wrong family that ends up going postal on them. This clinic is obviously being ran by Larry, Mo, and Curly! And that may be an insult to L, M, & C!!

    I applaud the family. Don't think I could be that strong and more than likely would not have taken the path they did. But what happened to their embryo? I hope they sue the paint off the clinic building! The clinic should be inverstigated because how do we know they haven't screwed this up many times before and didn't tell the family.

    Put the entire bunch in the unemployment line and the irresponsible one's in jail, if not in poverty!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  20. DMC

    What a wonderful and noble thing to do! Isn't it great that they had a choice rather than having been forced to carry this baby? All you anti-choice people take note and be careful what you wish for.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  21. What if?

    What if they are carrying a baby of a different race? Would they have kept it if it was their race? It still makes them very special to carry a baby that isn't theirs, only to give it away. But maybe they were blessed with it being a different race. Returning the baby is the right thing to do and maybe a race mix up takes the sting out. If you read some of the adoption blogs of mixed race adoptions, a lot of the now adult children which post there are angry and did not adapt well in their families. They will bring a new life in the world, make two desperate people happy AND get a huge settlement so they can try again at a better facility.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  22. Lily D

    You are doing a wonderful thing. May God continue to bless you in the coming days of your journey. We may never know the reasons why we are placed on this earth and why these things happen, but you have shown true love for others in this difficult test. You will be in our prayers.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  23. Lisa, Dublin, Ohio

    There were statements in this interview (that I watched live) that just made my blood run cold. ...."You guys say that the decision was instantaneous. You were not going to terminate this pregnancy. " Why on earth should they?
    The concept those two sentences promote is absolutely horrific to me. Why would there even be a question of carrying a small defenseless life to term, regardless of whose it was? Because this clinic clearly has no business being in business that is somehow the baby's fault?! Dear God.
    I applaud the Savages convictions that without doubt they are doing the right thing. Would that more people were as selfless. The pregnancy has lasted this long for a reason. Nothing is accidental. Who knows who or what this child will become? At least he's going to be allowed the chance to find out.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  24. Jane

    I'm heartened and saddened by this news. IMO, IVF should be used in very rare instances in the situation of a person not being able to adopt. Other childern are just as worthy of love and value as any biological child a person may have. Regardless, it's a joy to hear this story of compassion.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  25. David

    Bubba, I hope you found it in your heart to adopt one of the “millions of babies and children just begging to be adopted”

    September 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  26. dumbdumb

    for real doc!!??? and for real ppl??!! if ur not meant to have kids accept it and move on... this is what happen when u want to go against what God gives u!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  27. Cat

    Wow. I'm not sure what I'd do. This clinic needs to be shut down, at least that much is obvious. That's just not a mistake you can make. And what's even more ironic is they mixed up Sean and Carolyn's cell phone numbers...cell phone numbers and embryos, apparently they're all the same!

    This couple is very admirable. I can't imagine what kind of anger, frustration, sadness, and all kinds of emotions they were faced with, but they are truly good people for going through with the pregancy. I hope the other couple truly understands the gift they are going to receive. Seeing that Sean/Carolyn went through IVF, they must understand how badly the other couple wanted a child. I noticed one comment above, saying that Carolyn is depriving the biological mother of carrying her child and should've aborted–well, I can see how one would view it that way, but I'm sure the biological mother has consulted with Carolyn and Sean and is ok with the situation. Besides, perhaps she will try IVF again and carry her own child.

    I wish the 2 families and especially this child all the happiness, good health, and success in the world.

    One last thing–while I am pro-choice, I have to say this situation and outcome definitely prove that human life is sacred.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  28. Jarrad W

    I was absolutely horrified to read this article. This couple is truly remarkable and I hope no one criticizes their decision to see the pregnancy through. My heart really goes out to them. Through the clinic's grave error this couple was placed in an involuntary surrogacy situation. I hope this mistake is NEVER repeated at another IVF facility. My prayers are with this couple. This most difficult part of this situation is still to come.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  29. Stacy

    It's hard for me to read comments like, "I wouldn't carry another woman's baby." It doesn't matter whose biological baby it is, if you have it in your womb, you're responsible for carrying it to term. It's a child, not just some random "thing" that you can throw away just because it isn't "yours". This couple is a beautiful example of living out God's will for our lives even through difficult, heartwrenching times. He will definitely reward them in some way for this (and I'm not necessarily talking monetarily or physically, but they will have the peace they need and deserve). They sound like wonderful people, and I hope in future they are able to have another child (one that is biologically their own).

    September 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  30. Lisa in Chicago

    I can think of no greater gift than carrying this child for the other couple. Carolyn and Sean – you are wonderful, selfless people who understand the other couple's quest for a beautiful addition to their family. I hope and pray that you are able to continue your journey towards expanding your own family. God Bless you! As to those who condemn this couple as playing God (ie – "just saying" and "Bubba") who are you to judge them? Are you not playing God yourselves by casting judgement upon others and calling them selfish?

    September 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  31. Hmmm...

    There is no denying that this couple is incredibly gracious. The Savages, in bringing this baby to term, are engaging in an act of outrageous generosity for people who are strangers to them. The world would be a better place if more people were so giving.

    Still, it seems very odd to me that the Savages were seeking IVF in the first place. Unless I'm missing something (and I could be) the Savages already have three biological children. Considering that they already have a biological family, it seems strange that the Savages, obviously selfless people, didn't consider adoption.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  32. RJ

    To "Just Saying" posted September 22nd, 2009 10:32 am ET: You are a complete MORON. You stated that they are 'redeeming' themselves from their selfishness of having more children. They appear to be willing and able to raise their children and turned to IVF. How is it selfish to have and raise a child if you're willing and able? What kind of stilted morality and judgement are you applying to these people? Try keeping your mouth shut more often so you don't confirm your abject stupidity–I would expect in doing so that you'll be silent 99% of the time.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  33. Heidi

    A truly selfless act on the part of this couple. Amazing thing to do, and amazing grace in coming through this obviously heartrending decision! Kudos to them, and hopefully they will get the child they desire to have soon.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  34. mom to 3

    Just Saying – You are basically saying if you can't conceive to accept it (or just adopt as you say – it's not that easy is an understatement). That is like telling a cancer patient to just accept it and not seek treatment. Wouldn't that be oplaying God, too? There is nothing selfish about wanting children. I have three thanks to perseverence and modern technology (including IVF, ICSI, and more). They are miracles – not the product of selfishness. Your views are extremely close-minded.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  35. CM

    It's amazing how many people invoked God into their responses, yet I don't believe any of their responses also added that if God wanted them to have a baby, they would have had one naturally. Imagine being their 3 biological children who get to know that all this mess happened in the first place because the 3 of them simply weren't enough. I feel for people who can't have a child any other way, but clearly, this wasn't the case for this family. Some people just aren't satisfied when they are given 3 wonderful kids. As difficult it is for this family to be going through what they are now, it wouldn't have happened in the first place if they'd been content with what they were originally given.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  36. Martha

    The couple is doing the right thing here. I think the clinic should pay for all of their expenses related to this. It's a big deal being pregnant, and these procedures are very expensive. Being in a high risk pregnancy is very expensive in itself, so since the clinic goofed, I'm hoping this couple will not be charged for any of the treatments or delivery. Praying for a safe delivery a healthy baby!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  37. MizLiz

    I read that story and I had to come to the honest conclusion that I'm not in any way as altruistic as this couple. Not only would I have aborted the pregnancy, I would have demanded the return of any embryos of ours that were left (so we could try with a more reputable clinic) and then I would sue that clinic for every nickel. That's just cruel, how the clinic notified the couple about the mistake. Didn't even call them into the office? No apology in person?

    Yes, I know, I'm awful. But I'm also honest.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  38. Meredith

    What an amazing story! God will bless them beyond imagination!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  39. LMM

    Before you judge a couple, my husband and I attempted to start a family via natural measures for five years to no avail because of fertility issues on my end. So we looked into both adoption and IVF. My insurance fully covers IVF whereas the initial outlay for adoption was at least $30,000, with costs going as high as $80,000 in some cases, depending on where we wanted to adopt from, with a waiting period of 3-8 years. We chose IVF from a financial and timeline standpoint.

    Don't judge or point fingers when you have no conept of the reality. This couple is quite selfless in not terminating the pregnancy, but I do question the thought process of having a fourth child when one already has three, and the last pregnancy was 15 years ago. Why have another child? Why have them so far apart?

    September 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  40. adam

    in an overpopulated world, why would somebody have a 4th child on purpose?

    September 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  41. Katie

    I could not imagine the pain of having to give up, what was thought to be your child, to someone else. These are very brave people. She could have terminated the pregnacy at any time she felt like it, but instead she gave a couple the most cherished gift they will ever receive. You are truely wonderful people and I really hope you get the child you deserve some day soon. Good Luck!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  42. monica

    And there was nothing noble about this! Of course they wouldn't abort, but they do not WANT someone else's genetic human. Get that.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  43. Susanne

    She is a much bigger person than me. A baby growing inside me for 9 months is MY BABY. I don't care what his or her genetic heritage is. No way I'd hand that baby over to someone else. Yep..she is a better person than I'd be, for sure if she can do that.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  44. Terri

    I believe that everything happens for a reason – even mistakes. Maybe this child would not have survived if he had been implanted into his genetic mother. Maybe he is meant to go on to do great things. What this couple is doing is remarkable. As a mother who had fertility issues to deal with, I want to thank them for doing the right thing and offer my thoughts and prayers as the most difficult part approaches.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  45. Marlene

    While I feel for this couple, they already had 3 healthy children so what was the urgency for a 4th child? She mentions she hasn't been pregnant in 15 years so she is well past her prime child bearing age which carries more and more health problems for the mother and baby.
    I think that sometimes people (women, couples) are so desperate to have children that they jump into fertility treatments without thinking about any of the risks. If it's meant to be, then wait to get pregnant on your own. If it's not meant to be, perhaps there is a reason for it. Or, look to adoption as a viable option.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  46. Jennifer

    "Just Saying" is obviously someone who has never had any fertility problems. Just because someone's body doesn't work the way it should, they should be barred from having biological children? Adoption is an awesome option, but its not for everyone. Telling someone to "accept it or adopt" is incredibly narrow minded and proves the writer to be truly uninformed and ignorant.

    It has been said that it is better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you're an idiot, than to open your mouth and confirm it; "Just Saying" you confirmed it!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  47. Another Mom

    A baby is a baby, regardless of who it's parents are. I commend these people for their bravery and faith. It wasn't the babies fault it was wrongly implanted into different parents. I'm appalled that one poster said they couldn't carry another woman's baby. Thank God my child didn't end up in you!

    September 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  48. hddavidson

    thats why a man should impregnate anothers mans wife for them if they have problems.that way there is no mix ups

    September 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  49. monica

    Absolutely Phil, phase out tax deductions for > 2 children and charge > 2 children for public schooling.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  50. Renea Rupp

    what happened to Carolyn's embryo? did it get destroyed or implanted into someone else that might want to return it to her?

    September 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  51. Cheryl

    Many of you are obsessed with having a baby who is biologically connected. My oldest (21) is biological and my twins are adopted (18). They are all loved equally. What a waste of money, time, and resources going through IVF. Accept it and adopt. It's not as if you have cancer and MUST have treatment. This is an optional path. Children are children, no matter what their genes.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  52. Jooles

    I agree with the other posters – IVF is NOT selfish. It does take a tremendous amount of dedication and commitment. It's not just the physical act of having an embryo implanted, but all of the daily injections and dr.'s appts. beforehand. My IVF attempt failed, and I absolutely REFUSED to put my body through that again. My husband and I adopted our son domestically, which in our case, took only 10 months – the duration of a normal pregnancy.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  53. amy

    Carolyn and Sean, please know that I am praying for Carolyn's safe delivery, for the health of the baby, for your peace as you make this transition, and for the happiness and well-being of your entire family. This is a truly selfless act and whether you realize it or not there will be thousands of people all around the world holding you up in their thoughts and prayers for this very fine and noble act. God bless.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |

    this couple is selfish!!!!!! And arrogant!!! Look at how good I am and christian like is what it seems to me. Love the children you have and if you want more adopt. Just my oponion and besides since when do we give out medals for having babies anyway?

    September 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  55. Christi

    Its so nice to hear these kinds of stories. Not the fact that there was a mix up in embryos, but the fact that good, decent and honest human beings still exist. Many people would have taken the easy way out and aborted the baby. This couple is doing whats right and whats best for this child by carrying it to term and giving it back to the biological parents. God bless them.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  56. monica

    FOUR kids? That's just plain irresponsible, not to mention against their faith! Stop the madness.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  57. Dave

    God works in mysterious ways. He gives the baby to the wrong couple. He kills parents of young children, kills children, allows children to be born with defects, fills the earth with deadly viruses, wipes out villages with tsunami, earthquakes, volcanos, you name it.

    I think God gave them the baby so they should keep it. Giving the baby away is defying God.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  58. Kim

    The Savages are a amazing and loving couple. There should be more
    people in this world like them, a class act.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  59. Troy Kirkendoll

    The reason why the couple is being criticized for wanting more than 3 kids? Ever hear of the green movement or of the carbon footprint? Well, each additional child is worse than any gas guzzling car in terms of environmental destruction. That's what the problem is & 3 really is enough. It is wonderful though what they're doing for this other couple & I would ask (upon birth) for a DNA test of the child–just to make sure that the lab hasn't made 'another' mistake. And please people read a little more about the environment & about what each additional child born does to it, also what each addition to a country's population does to that country. If something isn't done soon, the US will soon go the way of Mexico.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  60. Michelle

    Jen- I never looked at it that way, but you are exactly right. All these people that are against abortion, should be against IVF kills human embryos.

    September 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  61. Shawn

    I am in tears right now. My heart goes out to this couple. They truly are an amazing couple. I am going to fertility treatments as well and I couldn't imagine going through something like this.
    I get chill bumps hearing them say they decided right away not to terminate the pregnancy and they will leave it up to the parents to decide whether or not they will have any future contact with the child.


    September 22, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  62. katie

    What a remarkable couple. The gift you give to the other family is more than any words can describe. May your family also be blessed with all the love and joy your bring to this world with this child.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  63. A Mom

    There is light at the end of the tunnel as the biological parents will accept the child. The couple will just have to overcome this and move on. Things happen for a reason.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  64. Veronica Gamboa

    I agree with a lot of the people that commented. They are people with really big hearts. I think that the other couple (the woman) should now carry this lady's embryo. In other words return the favor by now being the surrogate for this couple.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  65. Elizabeth Martin

    This couple's grace-filled decision testifies powerfully to their life of deep faith and trust in God. They are living the Sacrament of Matrimony fully ~ sharing God's tremendous love and respect for life, not only with the child's biological parents but, with each of us who reads their story. Thank you, Carolyn and Sean, for witnessing to the real meaning of love!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  66. Michelle

    I think IVF should be used for people who don't have any biological kids of their own. Not for someone who already has 3 kids.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  67. kelley

    What a strong, brave couple. I give them all the credit in the world. They are doing the right thing but I can't imagine how difficult it must be, and all the while they want a baby of their own.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  68. Sarah

    Wow. I know I definitely would have an abortion in that situation, there would be no doubt in my mind.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  69. Sonia

    Sean & Carolyn:

    As I finish reading this amazing interview, I want you both to know that my thoughts are with you through this whole pregnancy. I wish you guys the best and hope everything turns out well. A child if very much a blessing and hopefully you will be blessed with another one in the future.

    Best Wishes,

    September 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  70. Chelle

    Kath – the article QUITE CLEARLY states this is indeed her fourth pregnancy and that her others were all premature deliveries. So yes, selfish is a good word for people who chance the problems that premature births bring (and yes people I KNOW not all, but a good portion of them DO!!!). Just as selfish is a good word for people that insist on implanting multiple embryos even though the complications are tremendous, the medical expenses huge, and the economics of raising them staggering. That being said, the decision to take this pregnancy to term is a wonderful heart-warming story.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  71. really?

    I cannot believe some of the comments made by people who are condemning this couple for chosing to use IVF. How dare those people judge someone for wanting to have another biological child simply because they already have three or because they have had difficult pregnancies.

    As someone who is currently pregnant with her first child, I am appalled at the ignorant attitudes of those who are willing to point fingers at a family who is merely excerising their right to procreate. Whatever happened to live and let live?

    And to the Savages – I admire you greatly for the decision you have made and for the sacrifice it must be. I can only imagine how difficult this whole process has been for you.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  72. confused

    Why would you go to such lengths for a fourth child anyway? Isn't this world crowded enough? IVF is such a selfish, self-serving medical procedure. If you can't have babies naturally, take one of the plentiful unwanted children that exist all around the world.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  73. Jen

    I commend this woman for her difficult decision, but I have a question for anyone above who is anti-abortion but has or will pursued IVF.

    IVF requires the production of many several human embryos, most of which will not be born. Most legal abortions performed in the US terminate embryos (although already implanted) that are of a similar age.

    I'm not passing any judgment, I'm simply curious: how do you reconcile the fact that usually only one of many, many embryos will survive to be born? How is sacrificing dozens of embryos to the chance at one baby morally different from aborting one embryo in early pregnancy? If, say, 12 embryos are worth 1 baby, then why isn't 1 abortion worth saving the future of a 15 year old girl?

    September 22, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  74. Erin

    Joyce wrote:

    The number of children a person desires to parent is not anyone elses business but their own. How can someone call the desire to birth another child a selfish act?

    Actually Joyce, it IS my business and my concern. We are approaching 7 BILLION people on this planet. WAY to many for our natural resources to sustain. (Unless you believe in the foolishness of a "higher" being that will provide).. All these people that have turned themselves into baby factories ARE selfish. Adoption is a great option. There are hundreds of thousands of babies and children all over the world that need a home and a family to love them.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  75. jdl

    I think this is a nobel thing – but they have 3 children already and they go to IVF for the 4th? Seem a bit extreme to me.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  76. seattlemama

    absolutely amazing. i hope that, in time, you are blessed with your own bundle of joy. in the meantime, you are setting a tremendous example for your children and other people regarding choices we make in adverse situations. congratulations to both you and the other family. what a wonderful gift you are giving their family.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  77. Amanda

    If I were she, I'd abort immediately.

    If I were the biological mother, I'd insist on an abortion. No other woman would be allowed to carry my embryo!

    This isn't a "gift"; she is depriving the real mother of carrying her own child. I'd never take a biological child handed to me, carried by a surrogate.

    And both sets of parents should shut down that clinic, and find out who got their other embryos. They could all have other children out there that they don't know about. Everyone who has had a pregnancy out of that clinic should have a DNA test immediately.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  78. John

    So is there a law that prevents the Savages from keeping the baby boy after Carolyn delivers him?

    Our new age of baby-by-science creates some really strange ethical scenarios - where the biological "parents" have the priority over the baby, and yet the carrying "mother" has the option to abort him.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  79. Tami

    Even though this clinic has made a horrible mistake that will stay with you forever, try to see though the hurt and the anger because life is a precious thing and you are about to be a very special part of it for this other couple and their son.

    I have been a gestational carrier and i have to say to Sean & Carolyn, that i believe you made a wonderful choice in carrying this child for the other couple. I know for me, the second most important moment in my life after the birth of my own children, was watching the baby i carried for 9 months was being placed in his mother's arms for the very first time. That moment of love between mom & child is something that can never be replaced and your heart will forever remember that love & bond they share because of you.

    I wish you all the best.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  80. Phil

    So how is a couple with 3 living children allowed to go through IVF? I sure hope they paid out of pocket. How many kids do they need? We really need to start phasing out the tax deductions for more than 2 kids.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  81. not a fan of Bubba

    Bubba that was harsh! this is not their fault or the child's fault.

    They are giving a wonderful gift to a couple in their same situation.

    This happened for a reason and only God knows why.

    What a sacrafice of sincere love and human kindness!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:46 am |
1 2