March 13, 2018 01:20:17by

Mums fear baby sons were 'probably swapped at birth' in 'hospital mix-up'

Mums fear baby sons were \'probably swapped at birth\' in \'hospital mix-up\'

Two mums have revealed fears their nine-month-old sons were SWAPPED at birth in a hospital mix-up - after DNA tests showed the babies were not their biological children.

The Brazilian women believe they were handed the wrong boys despite them wearing identity bracelets bearing their names.

A chance meeting between the pair at a health clinic led to fears of the shocking error - but the hospital has denied any wrongdoing.

A second DNA test has been ordered this month after the first one cast doubt on the women's biological relationship with their baby boys.

A judge issued an order on 2 March, instructing Francielli Monteiro Garcia, 24, and Erivania Danfel, 25, to do a second test to confirm motherhood and eliminate any doubt.

The samples were collected last Friday and the results will be announced within 10 days.

Both families, who live in Alta Floresta, central west Brazil, carried out genetic tests on the babies, whose names have been withheld, in November last year.

The results revealed the earth shattering news they were not the biological parents of the child they thought was their own.

Mrs Garcia who first suspected her son had been switched at birth said: "My world has collapsed. I love the child I've raised, but I want my biological son back in my arms as soon as possible."

The alleged exchange occurred at the Albert Sabin Regional Hospital where the tots were born minutes apart on 20 May 2017 and placed in a heated crib in the same maternity ward beside the first-time mums.

However, Mrs Garcia only saw her son hours later. She suffered life-threatening complications after childbirth and was sent for emergency surgery.

Doubts began to creep in when the married mum was discharged.

"I realised the baby might not be mine by the time we got home," she revealed.

"My mother went to bathe him, and I asked her to give me the name bracelet as a keepsake. That was when I saw the mother's name on it was Erivania da Silva Santos.

"I immediately contacted the hospital as I desperately needed to be reassured all was okay. They vehemently denied there had been a mix up.

"They calmed me down and said under no circumstances would the babies have been changed, and that if anything two bracelets with the same name had been issued."

The hospital also instructed the anxious mum to wait for the other mother to come forward to query the alleged irregularity.

Mrs Danfel had in fact seen the error, but she dismissed it believing the name, Francielli, referred to the midwife who had delivered her child.

She later explained that in the rural town in north Brazil where she grew up, babies were normally delivered at home by midwives and she didn't know hospital identity wristbands existed.

"When Erivania didn't showed up, I decided to get on with my life and bring up my son," said Mrs Garcia.

"But I could never get rid of the nagging doubt that my son was not really my own child."

Five months later, in October 2017, the mothers met by chance at a local health clinic when both brought their sons in for routine developmental checks.

A traumatised Mrs Garcia recalled: "I immediately noticed the baby Erivania was holding on her lap bore a close resemblance to my family and had similar features to my husband."

The mothers began talking and Mrs Danfel remembered: "I said to Francielli, look how cute my baby is. This seemed to upset her, and she got up and walked away.

"When she returned, I noticed she had been crying. She said to me 'What's your name. I told her that I was now married but my name when we were in the maternity ward together was Erivania da Silva Santos.

"She asked me what the name on my baby's bracelet had been and I said I thought it was something like Gracielli or Francielli. But I'd thrown it away."

It was then Mrs Garcia realised she was living her worst nightmare. She explained her suspicions to Mrs Danfel, who was so distressed it took time for her to be convinced to do the DNA test.

"I said, this is my baby, and no one will take him away from me," said a heartbroken Mrs Danfel as the news sunk in.

"I was terrified of the outcome. I couldn't imagine my son not being my own. I had given him his first bath, seen him crawl, watched him grow every minute of every day and now if he wasn't my son I could lose him."

Once both families received the DNA tests casting doubt on their biological relationship with the child in their care, the matter was placed with the courts for a speedy resolution.

Judge Janaina Rebucci Dezanetti, who is responsible for the case following a formal complaint from the aggrieved families, said: "This second exam will serve to cross-analyse the data already provided and if it is conclusive, rule out any possibility of a misunderstanding."

Gerson Luiz Severo, a lawyer appointed to the case said: "The children are the priority right now. We will cross-examine the biological rights of the mothers, so that the parents can get on with their lives.

"If the exchange has to happen, they will need psychological support as this case has generated a great deal of suffering, confusion and upset."

Meanwhile, the mums are in constant contact with each other and building a friendship between their sons and a bond between their families.

"When I learned that the baby I made is with another mother I cried a lot," Mrs Garcia sobbed.

"But I love our two sons very much, and I still take care of the child I have as if he were mine. He's everything to me, he lives with me for 24 hours.

"We are keeping in touch, so the change won't be so difficult for the boys to deal with because we believe the exchange will be made through a court order," she added.

A hospital spokesperson said: "We do not acknowledge that an error has been committed because there are systems and procedures in place to avoid this from happening.

"However, we will await the outcome of the court case and launch an investigation if the outcome confirms a mistake was made in the handing over of the babies."

Both families have indicated they may sue for compensation for the emotional trauma and the loss each family has experienced in bringing up their biological child.