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​Switched at birth: Vietnamese couple discovers six-year-old son isn’t their own

Thursday, July 12, 2018, 15:00 GMT+7
​Switched at birth: Vietnamese couple discovers six-year-old son isn’t their own
The Ba Vi General Hospital is seen in this photo taken from its website

Two couples in Hanoi were shocked to discover that a hospital mix-up six years ago led to them raising a son that isn’t their own.  

Phung Giang Son, from the capital’s Ba Vi District, said his biological son was born around the same time as another couple’s child at Ba Vi General Hospital in November 2012.

The 28-year-old said the infant he received from a nurse was wearing a different diaper than what he had put on his child.

“At the time I had a hunch that I was given a wrong son.  When I spoke to the hospital staff they insisted that it was the wrong diaper, not the wrong baby,” Son told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

But after raising the child for six years, Son and his wife began to notice several differences between the baby’s appearance and their own.

The couple, for example, has white skin and are overweight – characteristics shared by their second-born.  Their first son, however, is quite thin and has dark skin.

Eventually Son’s doubts became so serious that he decided to have two separate paternity tests done, with samples taken from both him and his wife.

The results of both tests were the same: the child they’ve raised since birth is not theirs.

“My family was stunned and hurt,” Son said.

Further DNA testing eventually revealed that the six-year-old child is actually the offspring of a woman named H., who also gave birth to a boy at the same clinic as Son’s wife.

The revelation was a heavy hit to both families.

Now, H. is unsure of how to come with the prospect that she could be separated from the child she has spent over a half a decade caring for, a representative from the Ba Vi General Hospital said in an interview with Tuoi Tre on Wednesday.

“I hope Son’s family gives her more time. She’s also suffering from mental anguish,” the representative said.

Son and his wife have spent the last two months waiting to take their real son home, but he still remains in H.’s care.

“We want our son back, but that wish hasn’t been realized.”

They have seen the boy ten times since the DNA test results were revealed, but H. has insisted that they can only visit if they make the journey to her hometown.

Son said he and his wife still love the son they’ve raised “because we’ve brought him up for six years.  But when we know we have another child, we as parents want to take him back,” he underlined.

On July 10, the Ministry of Health ordered that those responsible for the mix-up be strictly punished and that Ba Vi General Hospital develop a resolution to the problem.

The institution has since disciplined two midwives.

The last known incident of a hospital mixing up children in Vietnam occurred in 2013 in the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Phuoc Province.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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