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13 December 2007

Two babies switched at birth

DNA tests have proven that two babies delivered in a German hospital six months ago were accidentally switched at birth and are now to be returned to their rightful parents.

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DNA tests have proven that two babies delivered in a German hospital six months ago were accidentally switched at birth and are now to be returned to their rightful parents, authorities have said.

The managing director of the St. Elisabeth Clinic in the south-western city of Saarlouis, Franz-Josef Backes, said an internal probe had concluded that the mix-up between the girls had likely occurred because the newborns' armbands carrying their names fell off.

The case came to light when a father became suspicious as his daughter bore no resemblance to him. Thinking his partner had duped him, he demanded a genetic test.

The results revealed that the man was not the father of the child, but also that his partner was not the mother.

Babies to be returned to real parents
Backes told reporters that because infants can lose weight in the days after their birth, it was possible that ID armbands that were initially snug could easily slip off.

"That was apparently the case here," he said. "Then the bands were incorrectly reassigned."

Backes said both couples, who were not identified, had been informed of the test results and that both babies would be returned to their proper parents as soon as possible.

He added that the hospital would now also issue ankle ID bracelets to newborns and produce two copies of an infant "passport" with a photograph - one for the parents and one for the child's bed. – (Sapa)

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