Assuta Hospital
Assuta HospitalFlash 90

The genetic parents of Sophia, an infant who was born following an IVF mixup in 2022, have been located.

Sophia's parents underwent fertility treatments at Assuta Hospital in Rishon Lezion, and then underwent prenatal genetic testing following indications that Sophia had a congenital abnormality. The tests revealed that Sophia was not genetically related to either of her parents, prompting an investigation into the facility's procedures and a pause on fertility treatments conducted there.

Multiple couples believed to have a high chance of being genetically related to Sophia demanded genetic testing, which the court approved. The couple who were at the time believed to have the highest chance of being Sophia's genetic parents were ultimately found not to be related to her. That couple had insisted that they would fight to immediately remove Sophia from her birth mother's care following the birth itself.

The court later rejected demands for Sophia to be appointed an independent guardian upon birth.

In October 2022, Sophia was born and named by the woman who had risked her own life to undergo an operation to save Sophia, and by the woman's husband. They were soon named Sophia's legal parents by the court.

In March 2023, the Supreme Court ordered a halt to the genetic testing, and indicated that there should be no further questioning of Sophia's parents' guardianship of her.

Later, a Health Ministry report indicated that one couple had a high likelihood of having a genetic relationship to Sophia.

In August 2023, the court approved genetic testing for the couple, who were deemed to have a four-times higher likelihood of a genetic relationship with Sophia than the other couples. The decision was made due to the belief that such testing would serve to provide Sophia with genetic and medical history in the future, and that every child deserves to know where he or she comes from.

The test results arrived in September, but the Rishon Lezion Family Court lifted a gag order only on Thursday.

The genetic parents are the couple who Israel's Health Ministry named as the most likely to have a genetic relationship with her. After the couple turned to the court requesting to conduct genetic testing, they received approval to do so, revealing their genetic relationship to Sophia.

That couple now intends to fight to remove Sophia from her parents' care and raise her themselves. However, her birth parents have announced that they do not intend to give her up. The matter is likely to be decided by the court-appointed legal guardian and the Welfare Services representative charged with indicating to the court what Sophia's best interests are.

While the Welfare Service representative believes that Sophia, now aged 1.5 years, should remain with her birth parents and that removing her from their care would cause her harm, a legal opinion stating that there is no indication that living with her birth parents would cause harm will be added to the case.