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. linda in AR

    Without a DNA test to confirm, I wouldn't decide whose child this is. The clinic is hardly reliable given their list of screw ups.

    Heck, they even called the wrong phone number and didn't bother to identify the person before delivering a message. Even a brain dead dork would ID a person before delivering such a message, especially to a Male. And delivering this message by phone, not in person is another big gooooof.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  2. JPaxton

    Just an amazing story of selflessness. I just can't imagine being in that situation. I think if I were Carolyn, I would want to make sure that my embryos were safe and not also mistakenly implanted into another woman. Then, I think I'd have them transferred to a different IVF center.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  3. another mom in Ohio

    I know this couple. We live in the same community. Sean has coached my children in CYO sports. I've always known that they are truly remarkable people – kind, caring, generous. It wasn't until this story broke that I realized just how remarkable they are. (And quite honestly, I was shocked to see the story on the news. I see them regularly in church and at school events, and had no idea that this was happening to them.)

    September 22, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  4. June

    "Just Saying September 22nd, 2009 10:32 am ET

    I am glad you are doing this for that couple. People should learn that if you can’t conceive you need to just accept it or adopt. Things happen for a reason and too many people try to play God. These people had 3 kids already AND she had difficult pregnancies. At least she’s redeeming herself from her original selfishness."

    YOU ARE AN IGNORANT IGNORAMUS!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  5. Sam

    An amazing, selfless act.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  6. Kim

    Bobbie,
    What if it were your baby they were carrying? Would you not "want them to carry another woman's child"?
    I pray for both couples, especially Caroline for doing the right thing! There are people out there that wouldn't be so generous or giving!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  7. congrats

    What a noble and respectable way to handle it. I applaud your decision not to complicate and unfortunate situation. The child understand your decision and be grateful for it. Perhaps even a life long friendship will grow between the child, his (biological) parents and you and your family as a result. It's wonderful to know there are level headed people around. Kudos!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  8. janimal

    What an amazing family.
    To those who are posting such ill-informed and thoughtless posts about the "selfishness" of infertility treatment CLEARLY have not struggled with infertility, and know nothing about the adoption process. As the Mother of an IVF miracle, I am familiar with the heartache of infertility. I researched adoption extensively, and was shocked to find that they really aren't lots of children out there waiting for families. That a domestic adoption would be MORE expensive, would probably take longer to complete our family, and that adoption comes with it's own special kinds of heartbreak. Don't get me wrong, adoption can be wonderful, and we started the adoption process at the same time we also tried IVF. To call parents "selfish" for trying to have a child is ridiculous and heartless.
    I am so impressed by this lovely family for making the sacrifice to carry this baby for another infertile couple.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  9. Monica West

    I hope the biological parents appreciate the sacrifice this couple have made to carry this child to term. This couple is truly amazing, their are way to many selfish people in this world today, and it is comforting to know that there are people out their who are like kind, compassionate, giving, caring, loving. I hope that this couple is well compensated for their unselfish act of humanity.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  10. Dallas

    Redeeming herself for being selfish! Please. She isn't selfish. She chose to bring this baby into the world for someone else. Carolyn and Sean, I don't know if you made it to church this week but it was about serving and being a servant of God. I think you are showing people today one of the greatest ways of serving him and this child's family and your own. May the Lord protect you through this and thank you for reminding us in this hectic life to appreciate every day. God bless you, your family and all who support you.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  11. Christine

    You have to be quite a woman (and man) to make this difficult decision. It really is the right thing to do but understandably it will be probably the hardest thing for them to ever do. I wish them the best and to think about how much more their true baby will be cherished when she or he finally does make their presence in this world. It will be a joy and a blessing, truly. I hope the biological parents allow you in their child's life. You really are exceptional people for doing this for them. It could be that she might not have been able to carry the child full term and your gift is that much more amazing. God be with you and your family at this difficult time. God Bless!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  12. Carol

    Hurrah! for this couple to recognize that this was a human being and not a blob of cells that should be flushed away. Life begins at conception. Abortion is wrong. May God Bless them Bunches.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  13. joann

    First of all, many blessings to Carolyn and Sean for their decision to bring this beautiful child of God into the world. They will be repaid by God, not man, for their unselfish actions. Remember, you will be blessed abundantly! Now in reference to Cathy's comment about suing the clinic. I don't like suing etc. But in this case legal action against this clinic is necessary. It will open their "eyes" to be more careful so this will never, never happen again. We don't want another couple to suffer like the Savage, right? Biological parents, you too have been blessed on having a wonderful couple carry your son. God bless you too!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  14. Diane

    As the biological mother of a son I gave up for adoption when I was 20, I know that this is by far that this is an incredibly difficult decision this couple. I know the parents of the son I gave up...they are good friends of mine. I know that for the last 19 years he has been safe, well-cared for, and loved with the intensity that only true parents can love a child! So to Carolyn and Sean, you are doing an amazing thing and giving another couple the chance at having a baby. You are doing the absolute right thing! It may not feel like it for a very long time, but one day when your heart heals, you will be able to see that it was what you were meant to do.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  15. Mainda

    To Carolyn and Sean: First I want to say thank you for your selfless act. Even as a mother myself, I could not imagine going through something like this. You had every right to make the decision that was best for you and your family. I know this must be a difficult time in your lives, and my thoughts and prayers are with you every day. As much pain as this may bring you, it brings an even bigger joy to the other family. The decision you made is extremely noble and if you were my parents, I would be very proud of you. You are setting a great example for your kids. I know there is great pain in your hearts now, but just think of the happiness that child will bring to the other family. You also have your kids that the both of you are such great role models for.

    Clearly this clinic should be investigated for its actions. I'm still curious to know where Carolyn's embryo ended up and what actually happened to it.

    May God bless you and your beautiful family for the rest of your lives!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  16. Betty

    I am absolutely amazed at how harsh and critical we can be as people about every single thing another person does in life. I am astounded by the haughtiness and judgmental way a few of you have chosen to see this situation. I don't care if this lady did have difficult pregnancies in the past and chose to have IVF, the fact remains that she wants to be a mom. She can have 20 as far as I care as long as it's done in a responsible way. The only irresponsibility came on the part of the fertility center–not these parents. A truly selfish person would never have even thought to give the baby back to its rightful parents. So to even suggest that the mother IS selfish is pretty selfish on YOUR part. Who made you God to judge another person?

    September 22, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  17. Bunnie

    This couple has 3 other children, I can only imagine the confusion and trauma that the children will go through. They thought they were having a sibling, only to find out, the child is being given away. They will need therapy to say the least.. the clinic should have to pay for that; not to mention the medical expenses for the Mom, since she knows this is already going to be a C-Section.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the clinic folded. The judgment against them could wipe them out, especially if I was on that jury.

    And to those that said 'they already had kids, they were pushing their luck.. or being greedy'; the fact they had children previously has nothing to do with the negligence exhibited by the clinic.

    The clinic was contracted to implant an embryo from that specific couple, not someone else's embryo. When you are dealing with the life of human, it is imperative to use due diligence and caution. It is clear the clinic messed up. They did not hold up thier end of the contract, and by their own actions, caused the mother, and family, to sustain mental anguish.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  18. JS - London

    I didn't think such noble people existed in today's world. As a mother having my only child by IVF, this story brought tears to my eyes and I cannot find words to describe the greatness of what these nice people are doing for the other couple. I am sure that they will be very greatfull for the rest of their lives. True Saints

    September 22, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  19. Laura

    It is wonderful to know that people of this caliber still exist. With all of the bad news stories today it is sometimes difficult to remember how truly beautiful people can be. Thank you for reminding me!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  20. tmhk

    Heartbreaking for the Savages, especially for Carolyn, but inspirational as well. I hope the other family was ready to add another baby to their family though... Good luck to all.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  21. lynnette Conway

    One more comment about the Savages. After I've read these comments that say they have sullied their gift by taking legal action against the clinic, let me point out that hospitals do not deliver babies for free. Doctors charge for pregnancy care. These costs should be paid by the clinic since the Savages are carrying this child through the clinic's mistake. This is what malpractice insurance is supposed to cover and those premiums figure in the cost of the treatment. Get off their backs, people.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  22. Nancy

    This couple deserves lots of praise and support for the very difficult thing they are doing. What I don't understand is why birth mothers who choose adoption are often overlooked. They don't often get the accolades this couple is getting, the cheers of support, the acknowledgement of the pain and grief of losing a child to another family to raise. In fact, what birth mothers often get is subtle and not so subtle judgment or platitudes about doing the right thing without an acknowledgment of the grief and eternal connection that birthmothers have to their children, regardless of whether they are able to raise them or not.

    This couple is giving an amazing gift to this other couple. I hope they are able to maintain some contact and connection to the child, if they want it. Birthmothers (and fathers) the world over should receive this same recognition, praise, support and opportunity to stay connect, if they so choose.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  23. christie

    I can not imagine the joy and pain she has gone through and will go through having to carry, give birth and then give him away to someone else. What an AMAZING woman and person to be able to give the gift of a baby and of herself. It makes me realize there are very good unselfish people still in this world.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  24. sonya

    God Bless both of you for your decision to have this baby and give him to his biological parents. My husband and I also went through infertility. It is a rough road with many unforseen ups and downs. There is no doubt in my mind, that you will never regret this decision.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  25. IVFmom

    What an incredibly brave couple. IVF is such an emotional rollercoaster to begin with, I can't imagine being faced with something of this nature. I hope and pray that these two will be rewarded with a little miracle of their own someday.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  26. Chris S

    The lord works in mysterious ways, and everything happens for a reason. This truly is a gift to the other family. As for Carolyn and Sean pure selflessness many blessings to you.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  27. vickilynn

    comment is for bubba......maybe read the article a little more closely....each of her pregnancies has gotten longer. Her CURRENT pregnancy is at 35 weeks, not her first...... It is usually prudent to have your facts straight before you criticize.
    This couple is doing a great thing in the face of potentially devestating circumstances.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  28. Bri in Las Vegas

    My husband & I also have to use IVF to get pregnant due to my husband having cancer in his 20's. You hope & pray that something like this would never happen and then it does. The gift of life is so precious and for doctors to make a mistake like this & take your dream of having a baby away is just scary. I hope this women has the chance to have another baby that is actually hers. I think this couple is so strong & I will pray for them.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  29. SD

    Bubba, I agree with you! God did not create IVF. People did. Is it really a God-given RIGHT to give birth? There are so many loving children needing good parents like these folks would be.

    Agree also – given the laws of people, this couple is doing the right thing.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  30. Donna

    The decision they made was THEIR decision, and I have no issue with it. I always wonder , however, what motivates people to make the rounds on news shows to discuss something so private.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  31. LisaJ

    I cannot believe the ignorant statements left here...no one knows the heartach of infertility, until you go thru it.

    wow

    September 22, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  32. Jim

    The more couple who refuse to accept being without children, the more mistakes like this will happen.

    There are so many kids out there waiting to be adopted, yet everyone wants to be a breeder in this already overpopulated, under resourced world.

    My hats off to childless couples.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  33. Teresa

    I've done IVF and it's pretty tough. To become pregnant that way is so great and then to have to give up the child because it's not yours? I don't know if I could do it. Kudos to this couple, though, for doing the right thing. I hope the other couple allows them to be part of the baby's life. That would also be the right thing to do.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  34. Mel

    May God restore to you the gift of having your own child. May he bless your womb with the fruit of your union. It is said that "you must first be a blessing before you can receive a blessing"....God, has a plan for you and for giving you the deepest desires of your heart. You were given a difficult decision and you sided on giving life..giving a gift and to do what you knew in your heart to be the RIGHT thing to do...God ask of us to do these things in all our ways...He will wipe your tears away and bless you and your family for this kind, unselfish and difficult act... It took you to deliver this Angel to his parent's; what an AWESOME honor God bestowed on you...Believe in your heart that your reward is coming! May the rest of your days be filled with laughter, love and a house full of children.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  35. Ron Johnstone

    Ok, but what about the Clinic that made the mistake. They could have not informed the couple. But as usual, they went to a lawyer who will undoubtedly counsel them to sue for everything they can get. A mistake was made that created a life for another couple who were unaware of the situation at first but now will have a miracle in their lives. This was not intentional on the doctor’s part. And if their belief system prevented them from aborting the fetus, and they "really believe that it is a gift" then why not negotiate with the clinic to try again at the clinics expense. I mean really, if their belief system is what saved this life, then forgive, try again, and move on!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  36. Ann

    Carolyn: Please don't sue the clinic, there is a purpose for all of this.God is using you as a mode of transportation in this case. He is using you to deliver a child to this couple. Your work and labour for this dear couple will not go unnoticed. Keep the faith my dear couple and know that God will reward you both ten fold!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  37. Cesz

    This is an incredible story. It was expected to happen. With the increase use of such treatment nationally... this kind of error was soon to come. I hope this sets an example for all couples doing the same thing out there... make sure, force them to check and double check the embryo is the right one. My hat goes off to this couple for showing such determined, balanced, and strong courage in order to make such difficult and compelling decision.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  38. Joan

    These are unbelievably compassionate and brave people. My thoughts go out to both families.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  39. lynnette Conway

    What a beautiful, godly couple the Savages are! I would like to tell them that God isn't surprised by this mix-up. Finding out you're pregnant with someone else's child must truly be a shock, but continuing in that pregnancy shows their obedience to their faith and the value they put on human life. True love isn't an emotion, it is a choice that we make to put the interests of another above our own. They have my admiration. This would make a great inspirational book. May God richly bless them.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  40. Karen

    bobbie, it's not the baby's fault. You would kill the baby simply b/c it wasnt yours? Pathetic and wrong.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  41. Tom

    I have to wonder how closely these labs label/handle these...

    we authorized the thawing (/disposition) of two remaining embryos after our 2nd child was born. we trusted/assumed it was done but THREE YEARS later the clinic started billing us again for storage. after I got over the initial outrage of being threatened w/collections for past yrs storage the _REAL_ problem hit me:

    how could we know w/any certainly that the extent of the problem was that they didn't thaw ours when we asked? did they thaw another couple's by mistake (who wanted/needed theirs)? why did it take THREE YEARS for them to figure out ours were still in their freezer? how often do they take a physical inventory?

    as scary as it sounds I suspect this is a more common problem than the fertility industry wants people to know...

    September 22, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  42. KSA

    a great story...hate to be sound insensitive, but Carolyn and Sean should frame this into a script and sell it for hollywood or TV movie. it might help them in paying for next IVF...I and my wife are going though IUIs and may soon need to turn to IVF, so I can understand.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  43. Sally

    It seems that the clinic would never have told this couple of the clinics mistake, if she had not gotten pregnant. The clinic HAD TO HAVE KNOWN within hours of the embryo transplant, that a mistake had been made. The fact they never told the couple until they knew she was pregnant...... shows their lack of integrity. I understand that mistakes can be made..... but the fact the clinic didn't tell this couple immediately....... well, that's just plain wrong. God Bless this couple for their wonderful gift!!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  44. Sue Coleman

    There are always judgmental folks who think they have a right to call someone like this couple "selfish" for attempting another pregnancy...someone actually accused them of "playing God." Don't you guys believe that the scientific research that allows IVF revealed the workings of your all-powerful God? There are no selfish people in this scenario except those who assume the right to judge others. That this couple feel (and FWIW, I do agree) that the baby is not theirs to keep is probably the only conclusion possible. That they are willing to continue the pregnancy through to delivery is one of the most unselfish acts I've heard about recently, and I find it inspiring and humbling. While they may or may not seek monetary damages for the mistake, I also can't find it in my heart to castigate the doc or the clinic for something that was, after all, an honest, though extremely serious mistake. No one at the clinic did this with malice aforethought, or with any opprobrious motivation. These people are in the business of helping couples who have difficulty with fertility, and even if there should be monetary damages, I don't think they should be overly burdensome...they don't need to be "taught a lesson." (Well, not unless this has happened before, in which case, they may need and deserve an expensive lesson!)

    September 22, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  45. CcLowery

    Just Saying
    Are you serious?? You call this woman selfish and you say she's trying to play God. God had nothing to do with her inability to get pregnant and have to use IVF. If God has something to do with her not being able to conceive then are you saying that drug addicts who give birth to crack addicted babies are blessed by God? The answer is No. God gives us bodies to reproduce and for whatever reason some are unable. Just like crackheads are able when they shouldn't be. She's not selfish. She wants children and if her and her husband can take care of 4 kids who are you to call her selfish? I'm just sayin...

    September 22, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  46. MIke

    Maybe the other mother can be a suragate for their baby

    September 22, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  47. Mary

    Well, it's all well and good to tell them to adopt, but watching someone go through the adoption process is not easy either! They were told there were 50,000 children ready for adoption. Went through the entire process, paid big bucks and not they can't find a single child – all of them are siblings – their plan was 1 not more. But have considered siblings now. Still, nothing seems to go through. Maybe they have a bad caseworker? Don't know.

    Anyway, I can tell the couple in this article is totally unselfish.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  48. bc in chicago

    @ Just Saying

    Using your "logic" I assume you do not seek medical attention when you are sick? Would never consider an organ transplant to save your life? You just accept that this is "God's plan" and die? Unless you have been in the shoes of a couple dealing with infertility, don't pass your ignorant judgment on them. Modern medicine has made wonderful advancements in the treatment of ALL maladies, not just the ones YOU pick and choose.
    Sean and Carolyn, you are doing a wonderfully gracious act for the biological parents. Being the father of a 2yr old son who was delivered by an amazing surrogate I can truly tell you how much your "gift" will mean to them.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  49. Anais

    How wonderful that something beautiful and an extremely fair decision could come out of a mistake. May the future be kind to both couples and this baby-to-be.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  50. Carol

    In looking over the posted comments, I see only two idiots in the bunch. Did you even stop to think that, for them, the "pursuit of happiness" included having four children. I agree with Lynda. A truly class act.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  51. Compassion

    Imagine a world without people like "Bubba". It would be a better place for all of us...

    September 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  52. Kath

    Hey, Bubba – YOU do the math, or – rather – take a course in reading comprehension. The interview clearly states that THIS pregnancy is 35 weeks. She had only TWO previous pregnancies.

    I don't think she's selfish. Selfish is refusing to buy health insurance and yet insisting on owning a new flat-screen TV and the latest sneakers. THAT's selfish.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  53. ketrina

    Wow, i can't even imagine being as strong as Carolyn. Great human being...........

    September 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  54. Are you kidding?

    I cannot believe the comments criticizing the decision to go through IVF. This is a decision that is very personal and is never taken lightly. To call it selfish is jaw-dropping. PLEASE do not criticize – especially if you have not walked in the shoes of someone facing infertility. Carolyn and Sean are to be praised for keeping this baby and the incredible, loving decision to put him in the arms of his biological parents!! Such a blessing.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  55. Kim

    Bubba,
    Do you know anything about IVF? By reading your comments, I would say NOT. As a mother of an IVF baby, you can't possibly know how difficult the process is and the amount of dedication it takes to even go through with this process.
    As for adoption? While I agree whole-heartedly with you about all the children out there who would love to have parents like these two, I disagree with you about adoption being what they should have done. Adoption takes years to achieve and there is a time line where the biological parent can reclaim the child.
    Please check all the facts before making assumptions on a couples choice to become parents.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  56. Stacy

    This is truly remarkable and a gracious gift to the other family. But I'm lost. If the doctor said he made a mistake, how sure is he that he actually made the mistake? As commentor Barbara stated, "What happened to Carolyn and Sean's embryo?" I didn't read anywhere that they had tests done or that they were planning on having it done after the child's birth to really know for sure if the doctor is indeed correct. I pray that this will not bring more confusion and pain. Again, a gracious gift and a couragoeus woman.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  57. JUST SAYING...ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!

    First I want to respond to the couple...God bless you. My husband and I are currently under-going infertility and this has really hit home to us. Wondering how we would react and how we would feel. I am not sure I could do what you are doing. You have an amazing faith that we should all reflect on. You are truly an inspiration to me. Thank you! You have renewed my faith that there are people who are out there to do the right thing.

    Just saying...GET A LIFE!! You have no clue what you are talking about. You are just a sinical piece of crap who has obviously never experienced infertiity. For you to make such a harsh comment about just accepting the fact that people can't reproduce and adopt. Get REAL. It isn't just that easy. First of all, although I would never wish what my husband and i have gone through the last two and a half years on my worst enemy I sort of hope you have to experience it at some point in your life. You are truly clueless. The next time you want to say Just saying. SHUT UP!!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  58. brian in NH

    "They thought they were calling me and they called his cell phone by mistake. "

    This clinic needs to be shut down NOW. Not only are they incapable of doing the IVF in a competent manner, they apparently can't even use the phone without screwing it up.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  59. Ellie

    For those of you who criticize, you don't know how important it is to give birth to your own child until your doctor tells you you can't. Having children is a gift, and this couple is truly brave to take the steps necesarry to have their own children. Your blessing to the other couple will be repaid tenfold. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. God bless.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  60. Hope

    Hmmm....I am not getting how some of the people here have commented that what the couple did was "selfish." Are you saying that because a person wants to concieve another child that they are selfish? Can't twist my head around that. Just because a person wants to concieve another child and did not choose adoption does not mean they are selfish. I would think it shows that they really love one another and want to bring another piece of that love into the world. Adoption rocks..but it is a choice as well.
    I am grateful for this story...for the courage of these people. I do wonder what happend to her embryo, though. Any word?

    September 22, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  61. Linda

    I commend this couple for going through with the pregnancy. Im pretty sure that I would do the same despite the traumatic circumstances. Bobbie- I am disappointed that you would decide to have an abortion. Its not the babys fault that the hospital screwed up. Surely he (the baby) deserves to be brought into this world and raised by loving parents.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  62. Cathy

    I think the decision to carry the child to term and give it to it's parents is totally the right one. Too bad they have to spoil the whole thing by suing the clinic. Somehow, it takes away from the beauty of the gesture. .... I'm going to do this nice thing – but I'm sure going to make sure someone else is going to pay for it. Not so beautiful afterall.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  63. jrjdrayer

    Where was their correct embryo implanted ?

    September 22, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  64. Ad from Boston

    This the sadness story I have ever heard, the couple should be rewarded for what they went through. I mean as a mother i couldn't imagine having to give my child back after carrying it. It is really nice to hear that they are good people in this world.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  65. Lauren

    To Just Saying and Bubba: I am appalled at some of the statements here, essentially condemning this couple for "being selfish" and going through IVF to have a biological child. Yes, you are right, there are children that need to be adopted, and adoption can be a wonderful, fulfilling process for both the adopted child and the family. However, they wanted to try for a biological child, and you cannot fault them for that. Do you have children? Did you decide to have biological children without ever considering adoption? The answer is most likely, yes. Until you can walk in someone else's shoes, you cannot judge them on their decision to seek medical assistance to have a child. Many, many people experience great difficulty while trying to get pregnant, and that is personal option to seek out IVF. This is obviously a remarkable couple, and I wish them the best. You should look at your own lives, and I'm sure you won't see perfection.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  66. Joyce

    I am shocked at some of the negative comments displayed on this page. 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? It is the most selfless thing a woman can do, giving room in her life to give life and love and service to another being. This couple should be commended for turning this into a blessing for somebody else. This is wonderful opportunity to use this experience to help girls/women who could choose abortion(almost always a selfish act) to SERIOUISLY decide to turn their mistake into an act bravery and selflessness. I will keep this couple in my prayers.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  67. micheline

    This couple has taken this horrific situation for everyone and turned it into a gift from God for everyone!! This child will hopefully learn of this unselfish act this couple did for him and his family. I am glad this couple didn't terminate this pregnancy because of someone else failures and turned it into a precious life..

    September 22, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  68. STILLWAITING01

    At least when this couple decided they wanted another child, they knew they could afford it and these options are there for a reason. how many people on the welfare system have baby after baby and we are the ones supporting them all thru their life and paying for the pregnancies and the births. i think they were completely unselfish for carrying this baby, and giving the baby back to his biological parents after birth. i cannot imagine how difficult it would be to do something like that.

    i'm sure that "just saying" has had no difficulty in having a child or they wouldn't be so quick to judge and make comments like just accept it or adopt. that is not always an option. medical science has come a long way, you would never tell someone with cancer to just accept it and not use every new medical break thru to change their outcome.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  69. Laura

    God Bless you both! I don't know how i would ever carry a baby to term and then hand him over to his biological parents. I would consider him my son; after all, we shared a bond for nine months. But congrats on your desicion and i hope all is well. You are touched by an angel!!!!! I'll be praying for you!!!

    September 22, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  70. darwin

    For everyone saying that this couple should abandon IVF (which insurance covers) and move towards adoption (which insurance doesn't want to know anything about) . You do realize that adoption costs are in the range of $30,000-$35,000 up front. Be careful before you judge...

    September 22, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  71. Kim N

    I have such respect for the Savage's. I can't even imagine what they must be dealing with emotionally, but they obviously have put the life of this child first and foremost and in this day and age, that is a rarity. So many people only think of themselves and how they are affected by events, especially tragic ones like this. Carolyn and Sean obviously have put the life of another person above their sadness and heartbreak and they should be honored for that. For whatever reason, this baby was meant to be brought into this world by the Savage's.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  72. K. Perry

    God makes no mistakes. He can turn any difficulty into a blessing. I am thankful that Carolyn and Sean have allowed Him to work in this situation. My heart goes out to them for the difficulties and pain they have endured in this, but I admire their faith and strength in doing the right thing. Carolyn could give this other family no greater gift. She is a gracious human being and well deserving of being a mother. I will pray that the saddness she and Sean are feeling now will soon be replaced with that of happy expectation when their own healthy, happy child is conceived and born in the near future. God Bless you.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  73. laurie Mcculloh

    How would you feel if your baby had been implanted and given life to another woman by accident and then she wanted to terminate it? I think if you take chances with this technology, you have to be prepared to make moral decisions. Including women who implant 8 embryos and then abort 5 of them to keep triplets. In this situation it's about saving money not doing multiple low number implants and there aren't many guidelines to dictate morality or ethics in this arena.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  74. Lara Ransom

    Carolyn and Sean are my heroes of the day. You guys are extremely special people and I'll never forget your story.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  75. John

    Guess this is another reasone why you don't use vitro if natural doesn't work.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  76. Bixby

    Wow...such nobility in people is rare. I have a great respect for this couple. I would certainly not want to be in their shoes.

    I pray everything goes well and this couple finally has their 4th child in the near future.
    No mention as to if the other couple were childless. A gift such as this.....I hope it's an only child, or one of only a couple and the bioligical parents are as great as the birth ones are!
    I wish them all good luck in the future and hope that they decide to stay in touch. What a story the baby will have! LOL

    September 22, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  77. Matthew

    This young woman deserves a frickin medal for this. Who has someone elses baby, even after the IVF mixup, and also with NO explanation of how the mixup could have occured. Ma'am, I know you are doing the right thing, and you are God's hand in this child's life right now for what you are doing. I am not a person who would normally say this, but you are in a situation that is going to alter your life forever, and not in the way you anticipated for it to happen at all, and the IVF company just says "oh, sorry about that?" I hope you own the company by the time your done.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  78. DVRDIVA

    This was a plot on an episode of "Private Practice" last year, only it was both couples had their embryos in the other couples womb. One was willing to go along with the pregnancy and the other wasn't. I sure hope that Carolyn and Sean are able to work through this terrible mistake.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  79. Veronica

    We went through years of infertility and treatment to conceive our first child and we were finally successful with our 3rd IVF cycle. I cannot even imagine the pain and devastation of experiencing something like this. What you are doing is amazingly selfless and loving and the manner in which you've framed this experience is very admirable. I wish you and your family lots of love and peace over the years and may your much longed for child come to you eventually.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  80. Kelly

    May God bless you, Carolyn and Sean, for your insight, caring, compassion, and generosity. For some, this situation could turn into a legal nightmare with both families claiming this child. You have been the best surrogate this child could possibly have. Hopefully his family of biology will share with him the story of your amazing love for him in your decision to carry him. And hopefully the connection that was forced on all of you will blossom into some sort of extended family/friendship that will last through all of his life.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  81. deb

    Your compassion, selflessness and generosity of spirit are inspiring. Your children are blessed to have you as parents.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  82. Kara from McCammon, Idaho

    These are strong people who obviously make decisions not based on what is easy for them but what is right and I am sure they uniquely know what this means to the biological parents

    September 22, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  83. Barbara

    What happened to Carolyn and Sean's embryo?

    September 22, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  84. Pam

    My gosh.... so sorry this has happened to you. However, I do believe that both YOU and the genetic parents of the child you are carrying should sue this clinic! This is not acceptable! And the doctors, and staff should be held responsible.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  85. KT

    I'm thankful for the strong faith these parents have to do what is right for the child. Thankful that this child will be born healthy and whole. Not all IVFs make it to live birth, so this is such a blessing in so many ways. They are giving the biological parents a tremendous gift that may or may not have arrived any other way. What a blessing!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  86. Yolanda

    God Bless the both of you! You are remarkable people!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  87. S. Callahan

    Carolyn and Sean, you are angels on earth to bring this child into this world for the parents...a fet most could not do. But obviously you have a good God you worship and he has directed you on this. You will recieve much blessing out of this, for honoring life, and I wouldn't be surprised if you have twins after this pregnancy...actually, I have a feeling you'll eventually have a liter full in your home. Blessings to you for your good judgement, despite your personal pain.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  88. Jilian

    What an admirable and selfless decision this couple is making.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  89. AlysonWandaLand

    Considering the situation, what this couple has done is selfless and admirable. This child's life may have begun with an error but it will no doubt be filled with purpose and meaning. It's nice to know that there are people like this in the world and sometimes we all need to remember that.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  90. Jennifer T

    You are incredilble people!!! May God Bless you and this child and the biological parents. The strength and grace you have portrayed should be an example to all. I know that the Lord will not allow your graciousness to go unrewarded.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  91. Bubba

    Do the math. First pregnancy went at least 35 weeks, second only 32 weeks, third only 30 weeks. Did you not see the pattern? No, you were so determined to get pregnant that you went the IVF route, and now this.

    Not saying you deserve this kind of stupid careless unforgiveable mistake by the clinic and its employees, but you must admit, you were pushing the envelope and taking big risks. Millions of babies and children just begging to be adopted by obviously loving parents such as yourself. Why not do that instead?

    In spite of my criticism of your selfish decision to force IVF, I do commend you for not killing the innocent baby, and for agreeing to give the child to its biological parents, and I wish you all the best of everything. But seriously, consider adoption.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  92. Martin in Arkansas

    What a wonderful example in a culture where the fate of unborn babies are subject to the "convenience" and "personal choice" of the mother. What a wonderful gift to another family in spite of the circumstances. This is what walking the walk is all about; it is easy to say you believe something, it is another thing to live it under such difficult circumstances. God Bless both families!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  93. Mark

    God bless this couple – their plans to expand their family have been delayed due to incompetence – but their hearts are in the right place.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  94. Just Saying

    I am glad you are doing this for that couple. People should learn that if you can't conceive you need to just accept it or adopt. Things happen for a reason and too many people try to play God. These people had 3 kids already AND she had difficult pregnancies. At least she's redeeming herself from her original selfishness.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  95. Kevin

    It's truly inspiring how they have taken someone else's embarrassing mistake and turned it into such an amazing gift for people who were once strangers. What a great statement about the resilience of the human spirit- Kudos to them!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  96. James

    Very noble of them in such a situation. May Karma follow them for their unselfish deed.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  97. Lynda

    A truly class act.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  98. Melissa Coven

    What a remarkable couple this is and what an extraordinary gift they are giving this child and his family. My prayers are with them during this difficult period. I hope they find much peace in their decision. Surely many blessings will come their way.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  99. a mom

    My heart breaks for this couple. Giving the child back to his biological parents is definitely the right thing to do although I can't imagine how extremely difficult it will be to hand over this life that Carolyn has carried inside of her. My prayers are with her and her husband and I thank you for doing the right thing. I'm glad I'm not reading a story about a custody battle here.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  100. Bobbie

    She is braver than me. I wouldn't carry another womans baby.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:22 am |
1 2