Emma and her husband had always known they wanted to have two kids. When Emma was 39, she became pregnant with their first child, a daughter. But after her birth, the couple struggled to get pregnant again. In 2013, when Emma was 42, they visited Lane Fertility Institute, a clinic started by Danielle Lane with offices in San Francisco and Marin County, California. After four unsuccessful rounds of expensive in vitro fertilization that Emma said totaled $80,000, the couple decided to take a break. Lane’s office, they said, was disorganized, and the doctor’s bedside manner was brusque. Still, they knew they would want to try for another child again, and so they kept three of Emma’s viable frozen embryos that were created from Emma’s first round of IVF in the clinic’s laboratory for future use.
Four years later, the couple was ready to try again. They found a new doctor at the University of California San Francisco hospital, and Emma took hormones in preparation. But according to Emma, on the October morning when she was supposed to have the embryos implanted in her uterus, the doctor came into their exam room with devastating news: The container that was supposed to hold their three embryos didn’t have a single embryo inside. There would be no second child. (Continued)