Guy Switched at Birth Gets $317K to Make Up for It
He was born to rich family, but ended up raised in poverty
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2013 7:03 AM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Imagine it: You're raised in a tiny apartment by a single mom and grow up to be a truck driver ... only to find out you were actually born to a wealthy family and accidentally switched at birth, and the baby raised in your place grew up to be the president of a real estate company. Would anything make up for it? That's what happened to an anonymous 60-year-old Japanese man, who discovered the mix-up two years ago and was recently awarded $317,000 from the hospital where it happened, NPR reports, citing local media.

The money is meant to relieve the "mental distress" of being deprived "an opportunity to gain a higher education," the court said. The man's biological brothers (and the boy who took his place in the family) all attended private high schools and universities, while the truck driver only went as far as junior high school and, later, industrial high school night courses. He now helps take care of the three older brothers with whom he was raised, the Telegraph reports. The mix-up was discovered after the man's biological brothers, doubtful they were related to their oldest brother because he didn't look like them, started investigating. Their parents died before the error was discovered, but the brothers say they want to forge a relationship with their newfound sibling. (Two new moms went home with the wrong babies last month, but that mix-up was discovered after just three weeks.)

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Showing 3 of 37 comments
InsomniacRyan
Dec 1, 2013 11:28 AM CST
Wow, this article actually raises some pretty fundamental issues about the nature of entitlement. No one can be proud or guilty of the family and circumstances they are born into, we get the hand we are dealt by sheer dumb chance. The courts ruled the only way they could, but it's actually kind of a significant ruling: that the luck of the draw you get at birth is the one you are now entitled to hold.
EricShultz
Dec 1, 2013 11:09 AM CST
"That's what happened to an anonymous 60-year-old Japanese man...The mix-up was discovered after the man's biological brothers, doubtful they were related to their oldest brother because he didn't look like them..." how could they tell? they all look the same
FarmerMichael
Nov 30, 2013 3:30 PM CST
The Japanese are a society built on contextual relationships. What school, your rank in each of your classes and your mother are things one can not escape for all the nurture in the world. It is in their language in how they address each other. The only really fun thing they have over other societies is that the second son, if he does better than the first son--usually under a new name--can adopt his family under the new name and that changes everything for the family with the dolt for a first son.