There’s no nightmare more concerning to an expectant mother than the one where her biological child is mixed up with another after birth. But amazingly, these stories do happen.
While they are incredibly rare, there are a number of ‘switched at birth’ stories that have captured the attention of the world over the years. These situations are hard, and sometimes even impossible. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with them, and they can often be tragic even when the truth is revealed. Here are 10 such stories.
1. Child Support Reveals All
In 2010, two baby girls went home from the Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg, South Africa with the wrong families. Neither family thought anything was wrong. The truth might never have been revealed had one of the mothers not sued her then ex-partner for child support. He denied paternity, but when DNA testing was done, it found that their ‘daughter’ was not their biological child at all.
She eventually tracked down the other mother and her biological daughter, who tragically looked just like her. At first, the mother who discovered the error wanted her daughter back, but the other mother didn’t want to hand over the child. Eventually, the two realised that, after four years, it was impossible for either mother to give up the child they had raised. The case has gone to court so that a decision can be made on what is best for both girls. Who knows where it will end.
2. A Yellow Belly Switch
Two baby girls were born in Cannes, France in 1994, and both suffered with jaundice. The clinic where they were born had only two special jaundice incubators, one of which was in use, so the two girls were put in the same one. Unfortunately, this resulted in them being switched by a nurse. When the babies were returned, both mothers noted that their daughter had different hair lengths. They were told, in both cases conflicting information, that the jaundice treatment can extend or shorten hair, leaving them none the wiser as to what had gone on.
However, as the years progressed, one of the mothers, Sophie Serrano, had people question whether her daughter Manon was really hers. They even suspected she’d had an affair. Manon had darker skin and frizzy hair, much unlike her parents. When Manon turned 10, her ‘father’ became so suspicious that he ordered a paternity test, which showed that Manon was not their biological child. Sophie Serrano said that when she found out Manon wasn’t her biological child, she felt an even stronger connection to her. The couples took legal action against the clinic, but neither mother wanted their biological children to be returned. Both ultimately felt that the girls were right where they were meant to be. Ultimately, the clinic was ordered to pay well over $2million to the families involved.