A Spanish teenager is suing for $3.5 million in compensation after learning that she was swapped with another baby after birth.
The 19-year-old was switched with another baby girl in the maternity ward of a hospital in the La Rioja region of Spain in 2002.
The life-changing mistake was only discovered when the teen took a DNA test. The results revealed that she was not biologically related to either her mother or her father.
When she was born, both she and another baby in the hospital were born underweight. After being placed in incubators, they were then given to the wrong parents.
The other family affected have also been informed, although neither of the two 19-year-old women have been identified.
Sara Alba, health chief in the La Rioja region, said: “It was a human error and we haven’t been able to find out who was to blame. The systems back then were different and weren’t as computerized as they are now.”
Speaking at a news conference, she also offered reassurance that such an incident would not happen again.
A similar baby switching incident happened in 1994, when two French babies were mistakenly switched at birth. Each was awarded over $400,000 after being sent home with the wrong parents.
Both sets of parents questioned the identity of the baby they had been given, despite the nurse at the time insisting that no mistake had been made. Similar to this recent case, the truth only emerged a decade later when one of the mothers took a DNA test.
Another infamous baby switching case occurred in the US back in 1995. Paula Johnson learned in 1998 that the baby girl she had raised for three years was not her biological daughter.
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