Parents Raise Each Other's Kid After Hospital Snafu

Mistake goes unnoticed for 12 years
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2011 2:18 PM CDT
Switched at Birth: Russian Parents Raise Wrong Daughters After Maternity Ward Error
Two sets of Russian parents raised the wrong daughters thanks to a hospital error.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Two Russian families raised each other's daughter without knowing it—and they didn't learn the truth until the girls were 12. After Yuri and Yuliya Belyaeva got divorced, Yuri wouldn't support his daughter because he didn't believe she was his. A DNA test confirmed his suspicion, prompting an investigation. Turns out the maternity hospital had accidentally switched the Belyaevas' biological daughter with another infant. Now both sets of parents are suing the hospital for some $150,000, the Telegraph reports.

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Irina Belyaeva was born within 15 minutes of the Belyaevas' biological daughter, Anya, and the two girls' name tags were accidentally switched. They were raised in very different traditions—one Russian Orthodox, the other Muslim. But both girls have decided to stay with the parents they've always known. "Irina keeps saying to me: 'Mum, please don't give me away!'" Yuliya tells the BBC. "I comfort her by saying: 'I would never do anything against your wishes. Nothing has changed. I'm still your mother.'" (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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