2.5 Years After Giving Birth, Two Mothers Discovered They Had Been Raising Other People's Babies
November 23, 2018 11:43 By Fabiosa
Newborn babies all look very similar to one another. Only some babies have a particularly striking appearance that would make them impossible to confuse with others. Despite the fact that we live in the 21st century, it still happens that, due to awful mistakes, babies get switched at birth and end up in other people's families. One such tragedy took place in 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In a city hospital, with the help of a caesarean section, Nuzipo gave birth to a lovely girl, and a Maya welcomed a wonderful boy on the same day. Both mothers couldn’t immediately take their babies in their arms, and due to a medical error, the babies were switched.
Although each newborn baby receives a tag with information about the sex, weight, and mother’s ID, they can still be switched while bathing or some medical process. In most cases, the hospital staff is to blame for such errors.
The truth was discovered only 2.5 years later when the boy’s father demanded a DNA test. Nuzipo, who actually knew that she’d given birth to a girl and noticed that Zama didn’t look like her or his legal father, insisted that all women who gave birth on the same day as her take the same test. As for Maya, the news that Thandi wasn’t her biological child was absolutely shocking: she had never doubted it.
In some hospitals, in order to prevent such incidents, the staff takes babies’ fingerprints and constant video surveillance is conducted. People usually find out about such mistakes years later when taking a DNA test for some reason or when incompatibility of blood groups for transfusion is detected.
Nuzipo, Maya, and their children met. The women couldn’t break the truth to their kids at once, but they appealed to the court. Each of them was hoping for the opposite outcome: Nuzipo wanted her daughter, while Maya couldn’t imagine parting with her. Zama’s ‘adoptive’ mother was ready to give him to his biological one, but Maya admitted that she didn’t feel anything for him, unlike the daughter she was raising.
It is a choice no parent should have to make. There seems to be no right decision and you can surely understand both women. This problem, however, was solved by two other families in an original way, whose sons were switched several decades ago: they did not swap the children back, but raised them all together. That is, both boys had 2 sets of parents.
To avoid becoming a victim of such an appalling error, it is recommended to:
- clarify what measures are taken in the hospital so your child is not switched;
- listen to your gut;
- always check identification tags;
- where possible, not let your baby out of sight.
It’s probably very hard to learn that a child you gave birth to is being raised by other people. What do you think, is a ‘swap back’ a right decision? Could you hand over a child whom you have been raising in so much love?