Babies Switched at Birth Grew Up Just 20 Miles Apart

two babies

In 1994, a nurse at a clinic in France handed Sophie Serrano her baby Manon to take home... or at least that's what Sophie thought. Instead, the mom would eventually realize that her baby had been switched at birth with another mom's accidentally -- an error that has been finally acknowledged with the courts awarding both families $2.1 million in damages. 

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All I can say is it's about time! By now, those two kids are 20. And Sophie had first suspected something was up as early as when her child was 3 years old, and looked nothing like her or the dad (who divorced her as a result). In 2004, DNA tests confirmed that Manon was not her biological child. An investigation revealed the switcharoo, and that her biological daughter lived just 20 miles away.

For starters, let me just say that these families did not receive enough money to alleviate the pain and confusion they've suffered over the past 20 years. Clearly this clinic screwed up, big time. Thankfully, though, such switched-at-birth stories are incredibly rare: most hospitals today have done a lot to avoid this (like those I.D. bracelets that get slapped on almost immediately).

More from The Stir: True Story of a Baby Switched at Birth -- Now That She's All Grown Up (VIDEO)

Still, though, when you're a new mom in the hospital, it hits you how those maternity ward nurses literally hold your life in their hands. When my newborn was wheeled off in her little bassinet as doctors sewed up my C-section, every mommy instinct in me wanted to crawl out of bed and follow my daughter wherever she went. It wasn't just about ensuring my baby wouldn't be switched at birth, but everything: What were they doing to her? Was she okay?

Instead, I lay there and had to trust that those the hospital staff would do everything right. It was hard placing that faith in others. Yet all moms have to do this eventually -- at hospitals, day cares, schools, and otherwise.

That said, even now, every day my daughter comes home from school smiling and happy, I breathe a small sigh of relief: thank god she's okay.

What were your biggest fears for your baby after giving birth?

 

Image via Oksana Kuzmina/shutterstock

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