Visits Sought in Embryo Mix-Up Case

Thursday, October 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) — A white couple has asked a state appeals court to grant them visits with a black baby born to them because of an embryo mix-up at a fertility clinic.

Richard and Donna Fasano say in court papers that an agreement with the child's biological parents — Robert and Deborah Perry Rogers of Teaneck, N.J. — allows them to visit the boy, now 22 months old.

That agreement, however, was blocked by the court, pending a final ruling on the Rogerses' application to the state Supreme Court's Appellate Division to nullify the agreement.

Since four months have passed without a ruling, the Fasanos asked in court papers filed Wednesday for visits to resume. ``The separation is cruel,'' the papers said.

Two boys, one black and one white, were born to Mrs. Fasano on Dec. 29, 1998, after a New York doctor implanted her with one of her own fertilized eggs and — accidentally — with one belonging to Ms. Rogers.

The Fasanos relinquished custody to the child's biological parents after the Rogerses agreed to the visitation schedule.

The Rogerses later asked that the agreement be nullified because a lower court did not have the authority to order the visits and because the two couples did not get along.

The Rogerses' lawyer, Bernard Clair, said Wednesday's motion by the Fasanos might be an attempt to increase the case's commercial value. Clair cited reports that the Fasanos ``have sold their story to Hollywood.''

The Fasanos' lawyer, Ivan Tantleff, said they have not sold their story.

``Their only intention is to have contact with the boy they gave birth to,'' Tantleff said. ``They're not looking for anything from anyplace or anybody.''