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Vietnamese switched-at-birth children returned to biological parents​

Friday, July 20, 2018, 12:22 GMT+7

Two boys who were switched at birth and taken home by the wrong parents at a hospital in northern Vietnam six years ago were officially reunited with their biological parents on Friday.

Both sets of parents and many of their relatives were present at a reception held for the occasion in Hanoi. 

The municipal health department, the involved legal agency, and representatives from Ba Vi General Hospital – the institution causing the mix up six years ago – were also present as the event.

Ba Vi’s remuneration package to the two families included covering the cost of genealogical DNA testing and an additional VND150 million ($6,450) in compensation for ‘mental suffering’.

The legal agency will also be assisting the hospital in acquiring new birth certificates and related household documents for the boys.

Vu Thi Huong and Phung Giang Son, two of the parents involved in the situation, said they hope to be able to visit the children they’ve spent the last six years raising from time to time, even if they can’t be their true mothers and fathers anymore.

The boys’ return to their biological parents is the result of months of detective work by Son, a 28-year-old Hanoi resident who began noticing more and more differences in appearance between himself and the child they had spent the last six years raising.

Two separate paternity tests taken in March 2018 confirmed that the boy was not actually theirs. 

Though it hasn’t been revealed exactly how the switch occurred, Son recalls receiving a newborn from the nurses at Ba Vi general hospital in November 2012 and asking why it was wearing a different diaper than what he had put on his child. 

His concerns, however, were only met with assurances from the hospital staff that the baby was his.

Six years later, when Son notified Ba Vi General Hospital that DNA testing had proved he’d been given the wrong child, the hospital immediately held a meeting with the family to admit their mistake.

Two months later, further DNA testing revealed that Son’s baby boy had been switched with Huong’s child, who was also born in the same clinic in November 2012.

The DNA results were so shocking to Huong that she lost nearly ten kilograms in the weeks since the switch was revealed, Vu Van P., he brother shared, adding that Huong’s husband divorced her after the birth of their second child, when he noticed the differences between the two babies.

On July 10, the Ministry of Health ordered that those responsible for the switch be punished and that hospital find a resolution to the problem.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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