In Vitro Nightmare Results in Miracle Baby

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 6, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: It's a nightmare scenario. A fertility clinic makes a devastating mistake. It implants embryos from one couple into the wrong woman. Then that woman becomes pregnant.

What on earth would happen after that kind of mix-up? Paul and Shannon Morell experienced this hell and write about it in the book "Misconception, One Couple's Journey from Embryo Mix-up to Miracle Baby." They went "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: What happened? This is like any parents' nightmare. Yours in the end sort of has a good ending, but what happened?


PAUL MORELL, AUTHOR, "MISCONCEPTION": Well, there was a mix-up clinic. Basically, the wrong embryo, our embryo was implanted into another woman. And the pregnancy was viable. And we found out that she was having our baby.

VAN SUSTEREN: Shannon, I know you wrote about it in the book, but who told you and what was your first thought when you found out some other woman was having your baby?

SHANNON MORELL: I was horrified and shocked. The doctor actually told us. We had a few calls and he came into the office. I thought -- we had an appointment for the following week, and I thought they were just moving up the appointment. I had a lot of questions, so I thought there might be a new program or a new procedure.

So in a million years I never would have guessed they would tell us there's been an incident your embryos have been thawed and, by the way, they've been transferred into another woman and she is pregnant. I was floored. I was speechless. And then --

VAN SUSTEREN: What happened next?

SHANNON MORELL: What happened next?

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, what happened next?

SHANNON MORELL: I grilled the doctor and I wanted to know what happened. He couldn't give me a lot of answers. He said it was human error.

And from that point on I asked him how many embryos had survived the thaw, and he told me three. All three were transferred. He said best case scenario she would act as a surrogate, which I thought was unbelievable.

I thought when I found out they still had frozen embryos that they'll discard ours and in a month or two go through the whole process. So we were really concerned what would happen next.

And again, this was a stranger. He couldn't tell us who she was, where she lived, anything about her, except he said I've been told they are a wonderful family. That's what he said.

VAN SUSTEREN: How reach out to find out where your baby was?

PAUL MORELL: We were so shocked by the moment. I mean, at first it was something where you sort of take your breath away. And then all these questions.

SHANNON MORELL: But the doctor called and said what can we do for you? I said we want to know if she is willing to keep the baby.

PAUL MORELL: He said when he got more information he would call back a couple days later. And we finally got that call. That was a long two days.

SHANNON MORELL: And then about four days later we got a number for their attorney, and I secured an attorney too. And the attorneys talked back and forth. We had no idea who they were, their names, for two and a half months, which was really, really hard.

VAN SUSTEREN: At some point you met the mother?

SHANNON MORELL: Yes, in April.

VAN SUSTEREN: What did you think when you met her? I shouldn't say "mother." I don't know if "mother" is the correct word.

SHANNON MORELL: The gestational carrier, right. Well, she looked completely, thankfully, normal, exactly how her attorney described her. And they were -- it was just tense. It was awkward. We went in and I started talking to her, letting her know how grateful we were. And I could only imagine the pain they had again through.

But I let her know --

PAUL MORELL: Just to let her know how thankful and grateful we were, and that we thought she was doing above and beyond. We were blessed to have someone like her --

SHANNON MORELL: Yes. And we wanted to open up communication, and we promised we wouldn't intrude in their life, and just gratitude.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did she say anything? She was obviously gracious enough to make in as easy a process as possible. But at any point did she say I'm carrying this child, I'm going to fight you on this child?

SHANNON MORELL: No, they said right away that they realized it was our child. We talked about this. They knew one the baby was born there had been legal precedent that we would obtain our parental rights.

PAUL MORELL: It was their belief system.


PAUL MORELL: They said they had strong beliefs in the sanctity of life and said that right way they through what they were going to do.

SHANNON MORELL: At the same time, if we hadn't been wanting this child, they would have kept this baby. They asked were you planning on having more kids? I said yes. I had an appointment scheduled the following week to start the whole process. So that was good to know.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any continuing relationship with her?

SHANNON MORELL: We do. We continue to e-mail. I send photos. We call. We saw them between Christmas and New Year's. We are planning another get together hopefully in the next month or so.

But definitely we are really glad they are willing to continue the relationship. I want my son to know who they were and some day thank her personally.


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