After three years of raising children who they thought were their own, two families recently learned that there was a terrible mix-up, and both babies had been switched at birth.
According to the Daily Mail, the switched at birth scenario took place at Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg in 2010. Only recently did the information come to light when one of the mothers sought to receive “maintenance payments” from the man who she thought was the child’s father.
The paternity test came back with utterly surprising results, as she learned that not only was the man not the boy’s father, but moreover, she was not the boy’s mother.
After voicing her concerns to the hospital, it was decided that a report should be done by the University of Pretoria's Centre for Child Law director Ann Skelton, seeing as how both children are now 4 years old and the only homes they have known are with their non-biological mothers.
According to the report conducted by Skelton, it was determined that in the best interest of the children, they should be left with the non-biological mothers who raised them. One mother initially wanted her biological child back, but later recanted saying that it was probably in the best interest of the child to stay in his current home.
Skelton was also able to find the likely cause of the mix-up, a midwife who accidently switched the nametags or files of the babies.
Skelton went on to write in the report, “The parents have suffered enormously and continue to be under considerable stress. The children are not yet aware of the problem, but the latest assessments indicate they are picking up on their mothers’ anxieties.”
Aside from the emotional damages that will always linger on, there is not much to be done in the way of aid, other than financial compensation, which Skelton suggests takes place. “Although financial assistance will not solve all the problems, it will ease their current difficulties.”
A South African court is currently reviewing Skelton’s report and they will be charged with making the ultimate ruling in the case.