2010/11/03

Singapore IVF baby does not have DNA of 'father': lawyer

SINGAPORE, November  3, 2010 (AFP) - A baby conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at a private hospital in Singapore has different DNA to the supposed father, a lawyer representing the clients said Wednesday.

The couple made the shocking discovery after they were told that the baby's blood type was B while they were groups O and A, a scientific impossibility if they were the two biological parents, S. Palaniappan told AFP.

"They discovered it a few days after the birth of the baby. They were informed by the paediatrician that the baby's blood group is B," he said.

"So they were a bit surprised because the mother is O and the father is A. Biologically it's not possible when you have such a combination."

The couple, a Chinese Singaporean woman and a Caucasian man whose identities the lawyer kept confidential, also started to notice the baby has a distinctly different complexion.

A DNA test carried out last month in a Hong Kong laboratory at the couple's request showed the baby, who was born on October 1 in an emergency caesarean, had the mother's DNA but not the official father's, Palaniappan said.

The couple are waiting for the results of another DNA test in Singapore by the Health Sciences Authority, a statutory board under the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Palaniappan said his clients, who are looking after the baby, have already informed the MOH about the matter.

"At present point in time, my clients want to ascertain the full facts of the case. To my mind, this is the first of its kind reported in Singapore," he said. He was unable to confirm the child's sex.

The MOH said it was investigating the matter but gave no further details.

Staff from the Thomson Fertility Centre, where the couple went for fertility treatment, were not immediately available to comment when contacted by AFP.