• We have updated the guidelines regarding posting political content: please see the stickied thread on Website Issues.

Babies Switched At Birth

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Aug 9, 2001
Spanish twins who were separated at birth due to a hospital mix-up have met by chance 28 years later.
The two Spanish women, who have yet to reveal their identities, were born in a hospital in Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands, where one of them was switched by mistake with the baby of another family.

Two of the three women involved in the mix-up have grown up in a family that was not their own.

One of the twins has now instructed a lawyer to sue the hospital.

The twins, now aged 35, discovered each other in 2001 in Gran Canaria.

Sebastian Socorro, the lawyer for the separated twin, told the Cadena Ser radio station that the encounter was thanks to a friend of one of the women.

"It happened by chance," he said. "The friend was working in a shopping centre. The other twin came in one day to buy clothes. The sales assistant tried to greet her with a kiss thinking that she was her friend, but the customer refused.

"The surprised sales assistant then called her friend who assured her that she had not been in to the shop."

When the other twin came back to the shop a few days later, a meeting was arranged between the two sisters.

Mr Socorro said he is seeking three million euros (£2.4 million) in damages and interest for his client for the "moral harm" inflicted by the hospital's mistake.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... years.html

maximus otter
A heart-breaking tale:

Switched at birth, then meeting aged 12
By Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Kopeysk, Russia

Two Russian families are united by a terrible event more than a decade ago. Their newborn daughters were accidentally mixed up in the maternity hospital and grew up with the "wrong" parents.

In a tiny flat in the Ural Mountains, Yulia Belyaeva and her 12-year-old daughter Irina are looking through family photos.
One of the pictures shows Irina as a newborn baby swaddled in a blanket. It was taken the day mother and daughter left hospital. But 12 years on, Yulia Belyaeva has discovered that the baby she'd taken home - the daughter she'd thought she'd given birth to - is not her child.

"I found this out when my ex-husband refused to pay maintenance," says Yulia. "I took him to court to prove that he was Irina's father. We did all the DNA tests. But the results were a total surprise. Not only does my ex-husband have no biological link to Irina - neither do I."

Police believe that on 17 December 1998, there had been a terrible mix-up at the local maternity hospital. Two babies had been given the wrong name tags - and the wrong parents.
"At first I thought it was a joke," recalls Yulia. "Then I couldn't stop crying. My whole world had turned upside down. I kept worrying what Irina would say. And I kept thinking about my real daughter. Maybe she'd been abandoned. Put in an orphanage. Or perhaps she was begging on the streets."
Desperate to find her, Yulia went to the police and they launched a search for her biological daughter. Within weeks they had found her.

In a village half an hour's drive from Yulia Belyaeva's flat, lives 12-year-old Anya Iskanderova. In a meadow opposite her house, she shows me her favourite cow April. Anya is the girl Yulia had given birth to. She is the spitting image of her biological mother.

In the house is Naimat Iskanderov - the man Anya thought was her father. Naimat is from Tajikistan. He had married a Russian woman, but they had divorced. It was Naimat who brought up Anya and his other children as devout Muslims. When police told him about the mistake at the maternity hospital and that Anya was not his daughter, to begin with he refused to believe it.
"Then the detective showed me a photo of the other girl, Irina, the one they said was my real daughter," Naimat tells me. "When I saw her face, it was like seeing myself. My arms and legs began shaking. It was awful to think that my child had grown up with another family. And that I had brought up someone else's daughter."

The two families meet regularly now. But the parents admit there is tension between them.
"It is difficult," concedes Naimat. "One family is Christian, the other is Muslim. We have different traditions. What I fear most is that the daughter I've raised will start going drinking in bars, that she will stop praying and working. I'm worried she will lose her religion."

"There is tension between the adults," says Yulia, "Naimat doesn't like some things that go on in our family, I don't like some things in their home. Both of us are used to life as it has been. Not as it is now. Now it is a nightmare."

More than anything Yulia fears that both children will desert her. She can see that the daughter she brought up is keen to spend time now with her biological father. And the child she actually gave birth to is like a stranger.
'I try to show Anya motherly love," Yulia says, "But she doesn't accept it. She's been brought up differently. She's not used to tenderness. We don't really understand each other. When your own daughter looks at you like a stranger, that's so painful."

Both families are suing the Kopeysk Maternity Hospital for more than $300,000 in damages. Its chief doctor went on Russian TV to apologise for the mistake, but argued the hospital could not afford to settle such a claim. Prosecutors are considering bringing criminal charges against the hospital staff responsible for the mix-up. Although that seems unlikely, considering so many years have passed.

For now the two girls say they do not want to swap parents. They are just glad to have found each other.
"To begin with we were a bit shy," Irina tells me, "but now we've become the best of friends."
"What I'd like," says Anya, "is for all of us to live in one big house."

Irina and Anya were born 15 minutes apart. Now the truth about what happened in hospital has brought them together.

Japan man swapped at birth wins damages

News from Elsewhere...
...as found by BBC Monitoring
11:27 UK time, Thursday, 28 November 2013

A 60-year-old man switched at birth from his rich parents to a poor family has been given compensation, it's reported.

The Tokyo man will be paid 32m yen ($313,265) by social welfare corporation San-Ikukai, which runs the hospital where he was born in March 1953. Hospital staff mistakenly thought he was the son of a couple whose own baby was born 13 minutes later, says the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

The mix-up "caused mental distress by depriving him of an opportunity to gain a higher education although his original family was wealthy", said Judge Masatoshi Miyasaka. While his biological siblings - and the boy brought up in his place - attended private high schools and universities, the unnamed man grew up in a family reliant on welfare. He graduated from junior high school and now works as a truck driver.

The compensation also covers the fact that he was denied contact with his family for almost six decades. The switch was only uncovered after his biological parents died. Their sons, who realised their oldest brother looked different to the rest of the family, began to investigate hospital records. A DNA test in 2009 confirmed the Tokyo man was indeed a blood relative.
There has been at least one novel written on this very topic: "The Two Saplings" by Mazo de la Roche, a Canadian authoress b~1879. She was quite famous in her day but I think perhaps not widely read nowadays. I read "The Two Saplings" many a long decade ago, have to say I have quite forgotten the plot after the initial accidental exchange of the two infants.
Fulcaneli said:
There has been at least one novel written on this very topic: "The Two Saplings" by Mazo de la Roche, a Canadian authoress b~1879. She was quite famous in her day but I think perhaps not widely read nowadays. I read "The Two Saplings" many a long decade ago, have to say I have quite forgotten the plot after the initial accidental exchange of the two infants.

I didn't read any of her novels but I remember the Jalna tv series based on a cycle of them.
Two South African toddlers who were accidentally swapped on the day they were born should stay with the families who raised them and not be returned to their biological parents, a court-appointed expert has ruled.

The two children, a boy and a girl who are now aged four, were born on the same day in 2010 in a Johannesburg hospital but ended up being taken home and raised by different parents after nurses mixed up their identities.

The families were unaware of the mistake until one of the mothers underwent tests when her ex-husband refused to pay child maintenance because he believed he was not the father.

Paternity tests revealed that not only was he not the boy’s father, but she was not his mother.

One of the mothers had initially wanted to get her biological child back and was left needing hospital treatment for shock at learning the daughter she had been raising was not hers. The other mother preferred to keep the one she had raised, leaving the North Gauteng High Court to decide. ...
http://www.irishexaminer.com/world/todd ... 99764.html
Last edited by a moderator:
More disturbing cases.

Canadian police will not press charges against a hospital that switched babies during the seventies.

Four indigenous men from remote communities in Manitoba only recently found they were not related to their families after taking DNA tests.

A review by Health Canada found the switches at Norway House Indian Hospital appeared accidental.

The families say they are still "filled with questions of what would their lives have been like".

Leon Swanson and David Tait Jr revealed last August they were swapped in the government-run Norway House Hospital in 1975.

DNA testing has confirmed that they were sent home with each other's biological parents shortly after they were born. They know each other and continue to live in Norway House Cree Nation, a community of about 5,000 people.

The same thing happened to Luke Monias and Norman Barkman, of Garden Hill First Nation. ...

A baby switch error in Spain back in 2002 took two decades to be recognized.
Spanish hospital baby switch discovered two decades later

Health authorities in Spain are blaming human error for the switching of two baby girls in a maternity ward almost 20 years ago, after one of them discovered by chance through a DNA test as a teenager that she wasn’t the daughter of her presumed parents.

“It was a human error and we haven’t been able to find out who was to blame,” Sara Alba, health chief of Spain’s northern La Rioja region, told a news conference Tuesday.

“The systems back then were different and weren’t as computerized as they are now,” Alba said, offering assurances it couldn’t happen again.

The newborns were mixed up in 2002 after being born five hours apart at a hospital in La Rioja. They were both in incubators because they were born underweight.

The woman, now 19, who first discovered she had been given to the wrong parents is demanding compensation of 3 million euros ($3.5 million) from local health authorities. ...

The other woman who was handed to the wrong parents has been informed of the mistake, the newspaper said. Neither woman was identified.
SOURCE: https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-europe-business-health-spain-20e0c38eddfdb78085f14adb8a12f9ac
Switched at birth in 1955.

It was a simple at-home DNA testing kit, a Christmas day gift, that upended the lives of two Canadian men forever.

Richard Beauvais, from the coastal town of Sechelt, British Columbia, grew up his whole life believing he was indigenous. But the test he took showed that he had a mix of Ukrainian, Ashkenazi Jewish and Polish ancestry.

Around the same time and nearly 1,500 miles (2,400km) away, the sister of Eddy Ambrose from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who was raised in a Ukrainian family, also took a DNA test, and discovered that she was not related to Eddy.

Rather, Mr Beauvais was her biological brother.

This led to a life-changing revelation: that two men - Richard Beauvais and Eddy Ambrose - were born on the same day at the same hospital in the small town of Arborg, Manitoba, in 1955, but were switched at birth and taken home by each other's biological parents.

On Thursday - nearly 70 years later - Mr Beauvais and Mr Ambrose received a formal apology in person from Manitoba's Premier Wab Kinew, for the trauma they endured because of the mix-up.

"I rise today to deliver an apology that has been a long time coming, for actions that harmed two children, two sets of parents and two families across many generations," Mr Kinew said in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly.

"We are sometimes asked to understand empathy and compassion by considering what it is like to walk a mile in another person's shoes," the premier remarked. "If that statement is true, our honoured guests here today will perhaps understand compassion and empathy on a level very few of us will be able to approach."

In their early years, the two had led starkly different lives, their lawyer Bill Gange told the BBC.

Mr Beauvais, 68, was raised Métis - an indigenous people in Canada of mixed indigenous and European ancestry. His father died when he was three years old, leaving him responsible for his younger siblings while his mother struggled with the loss. He attended a day school for indigenous children, and was later forcibly taken from his family in the Sixties Scoop - an assimilationist policy in Canada where indigenous children were placed either in foster care, or were adopted outside of their communities.

Meanwhile, Mr Ambrose grew up on a farm in rural Manitoba, "with a very loving and very supportive Ukrainian ancestral family", said Mr Gagne, where he listened to Ukrainian folk songs before bed. Though he, too, was later adopted after becoming an orphan at the age of 12. Throughout his life, Mr Ambrose was never aware of his indigenous ancestry.

"They both have had who they thought they were stripped away because of this," Mr Gange said. ...

Mr Beauvais and Mr Ambrose are the third known case of a birth mix-up in Manitoba. Two other cases have been reported in the Atlantic province of Newfoundland. ...