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Child Swapping at Birth: DNA Tests Solve Cases

International news reports suggest that the accidental swapping of babies at birth isn’t a rare occurrence in numerous hospitals.

It is a sad fact that in some countries, baby boys are more desired than girls, leading to a shockingly high number of babies being intentionally swapped at birth.

Recent studies strongly suggest that permanent psychological damage can be caused to both mother and child by baby swapping.In some cases, the mistake is not realised and rectified until many years later, however even if the separation only lasts a matter of weeks, it can have an effect as the early mother/baby relationship is a vital part of a child’s development.

Swapped at Birth – A Czech Story

A recent story in the Czech news has shocked the nation and raised questions of child swapping.The story concerns two families and two little girls, who were accidentally exchanged at birth in Trebic Hospital in December 2006.The two girls, Nicole and Veronica, only spent a matter of minutes with their “real” parents, being taken away by staff to be cleaned, swathed and placed in cots in the Maternity Ward.It is still unclear exactly where the error occurred and how they came to be swapped, but the fact remains that each girl was given to different parents.

The mistake was realised through a series of very distressing events.Baby Nicole’s father was disturbed by the fact that his daughter shared no family resemblances and actually suspected his wife of being unfaithful.After secretly conducting a DNA paternity test it was revealed that he was not Nicole’s biological father.When he challenged his wife, she expressed a desire to have a DNA maternity test which also found no match between parent and child.

Getting over their initial suspicions, the parents immediately contacted the hospital and through a process of elimination the other family with Veronica was traced and informed of the gross error. When the two families finally met, and each parent was faced with their real child, the emotions ranged from extreme joy to extreme sadness.Both sets of parents agreed to swap their daughters before their first birthday on December 9th and plan to visit regularly beforehand to ease the trauma of the swap back.

As one would expect, both sets of parents are taking their cases to court and expect to receive damages in excess of $10 million.The media has been questioning how often in reality is this happening and how many cases go undetected.At least once a problem is detected DNA Testing can help provide the answers.



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