Shocked families discover their babies were swapped at birth
27 November 2014, 10:44
Cape Town - Two families in South Africa are desperately trying to come up with solutions to a shocking dilemma after discovering that two baby girls born on the same day were swapped in the hospital in 2010, according to News24.
The Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg has not disclosed the reasons the babies were swapped, but has agreed to participate in an investigation to resolve what appears to be a huge mistake.
The paternity test that was also a maternity test
The families hadn’t suspected anything until the one girl’s mom had sued the father for maintenance. The paternity test not only revealed that the man was not the father, but also that the woman was not the mother of the child.
Since finding out about the swapped children in 2013, the mothers have been meeting regularly for therapy and have met their biological children, although this process has fallen apart after one of the mothers insisted she wants her biological child back and the other mother refused.
Also read: Mom dies to save baby's life
A child law centre has now been called in to interview all those concerned, including extended family in order to make a recommendation for a ruling which would be in the best interests of the children in this case which would appear to have no happy resolution: Options include swapping the children again or remaining with their current moms with or without visitation rights, according to TimesLive.
Experts in psychology and the law have described the case as extremely traumatising for the moms and the children, with devastating consequences which could impact the long-term relationships between the parties involved.
Parents in these (thankfully rare) cases may not have any clue that a swap has taken place unless there is reason for a paternity test or if the child presents a peculiar genetic condition.
Unfortunately, some maintenance court proceedings may include the father insisting on proof of paternity before paying maintenance. This may lead to feelings of rejection in children who must also submit genetic material for such a test.