A gay couple in California perhaps unwittingly reaffirmed the gender binary when they decided to sue a fertility clinic for giving them a daughter instead of the son they ordered.
Last Friday, Albert and Anthony Saniger of Pasadena, California, filed a lawsuit against HRC Fertility and fertility specialist Dr. Bradford A. Kolb in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging breach of contract, medical malpractice, negligence, fraudulent concealment, and violation of the Unfair Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act — all because they were assured that they would have a boy born via surrogacy, not a girl.
According to the lawsuit, the Sanigers spent approximately $300,000 to secure donor eggs and a female surrogate, whom the lawsuit and KNBC refer to as a “gestational carrier.” They then endured two unsuccessful implantation attempts in 2020 before the unidentified woman surrogate became pregnant in December that year.
The lawsuit claims that the clinic assured the Sanigers that they would be able to select the exact embryos used in each round of in vitro fertilization and that the biologically determined sex of each embryo had already been made known to them prior to the transfer procedures. The Sanigers say that they selected a male embryo, but that the clinic and Dr. Kolb “negligently, recklessly, and/or intentionally transferred a female embryo to the Sanigers’ gestational carrier.”
“To this day, HRC has offered no explanation for how this error occurred,” the suit states.
The Sanigers claim that they had decided before they got married in 2013 that they wanted to have two boys to raise. They even selected names for the boys in 2015 and created email accounts for them using those names. They say they still intend to have two sons, whom they will raise alongside their daughter, and that the “staggering” expense of a third child is another reason they have decided to sue.
HRC, which according to its website specializes in “family building options for the LGBT community,” has since issued a statement in response to the lawsuit.
“At HRC Fertility, our mission is to provide world-class care,” a spokesperson for the clinic said. “We have helped thousands of people, including the couple involved in this lawsuit.
“Every child has value and limitless potential regardless of gender. We hope the Sanigers find love and value in their healthy child while so many across the country are struggling with reproductive issues.”
According to the lawsuit, the Sanigers’ “healthy child” is biologically female and not just AFAB, or “assigned female at birth.”