UC Settles Suits in Embryo Thefts

'Our kids are still out there,' says heartbroken mom
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 11, 2009 2:55 AM CDT
UC Irvine law school. The university has paid out some $24 million to settle lawsuits in one of the biggest fertility clinic scandals in US history.   (©slasher-fun)
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(Newser) – The University of California Board of Regents has quietly paid $4.2 million to settle a dozen lawsuits linked to doctors who stole embryos in an Irvine fertility clinic, reports the Los Angeles Times. The physicians fled the US after it was discovered 14 years ago that they moved eggs and embryos among patients without consent. "I don't think it will ever be over," said former patient Shirel Crawford. "Our children are still out there somewhere."

Crawford is believed to be the mother of two embryos given to an anonymous "Mrs. S" who gave birth to a boy and a girl. Crawford ran out of money for more fertility treatments and never gave birth. The Crawfords hired a private investigator in a fruitless effort to track down their children. The university has paid out a total of some $24 million to settle 137 cases in which eggs and embryos were unaccounted for or switched. Three cases are still pending.