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Switched-at-birth Vietnamese babies kept from biological parents

Thursday, July 21, 2016, 18:31 GMT+7

A hospital error resulting in two babies being switched at birth three years ago in the southern province of Binh Phuoc has been complicated by one of the families refusing to return their child.

In an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Thursday, Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, 26, and her husband, 36-year-old Vu Dinh Khien, explained their side of the story.

Trang recalled the day she gave birth to her child at the general hospital of her hometown, Binh Long Commune, over three years ago.

As the nurses handed Trang her healthy daughter, she named the child Vu Ngoc Lan Anh.

Although the baby did not look like her parents, the couple have never dared to say she was not their own child, according to Trang.

However, the mystery began to unravel after Anh’s grandfather ran into a young girl who bore a strong resemblance to Anh’s parents, and especially her older sister, Vu Ngoc Lan Phuong, while visiting the neighborhood in early May.

After the elderly man told his daughter, Trang, about the girl, she recalled another pregnant woman who had stayed in a nearby room at the hospital.

The woman had also given birth to a baby girl on the same day as Trang, she said, adding that the two babies had exactly the same weight.

When the married couple subsequently arrived at the house of their biological daughter and saw her with their own eyes, they began to seek clarification on the situation.

On May 5, Trang and Khien, along with the other couple, Huynh Van Tuan, 25, and his wife Thi Lien, 24, took their daughter to Ho Chi Minh City for a DNA test, the result of which revealed that their children had indeed been switched at birth.

According to Trang, Tuan and Lien then went out of their way to avoid her family after the test result was announced.

The couple did not accept the result, saying that it was “unreasonable,” Trang continued.

After the DNA test, hospital doctors also admitted their mistake, Trang said, before adding that she and her husband have since been unable to be reunited with their biological child.

A source from the infirmary confirmed that at a meeting organized between the two families, including representatives of the local authorities, Tuan and Lien had refused to switch back their daughter.

According to Khien, he would take the case to the court only as a last resort.

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