World

Two newborn girls were exchanged 20 years ago. What happened next

Twenty years ago, two newborn baby girls who were placed next to the incubators in the maternity hospital were given to the wrong parents. The “mistake” was perceived ten years later. An incredible human story.

“If this happened to us, it can happen to anyone,” says Sophie Serrano, the mother of one of the two girls who was exchanged 20 years ago at a maternity hospital in the city of Cannes, France. The two families who did not raise their biological children demanded compensation of over €12 million and the court will decide on 10 February.

On 4 July 1994 Sophie Serano gave birth to the little Manon. Because she had jaundice the newborn was placed in an incubator along with another girl who had the same problem. On the night of July 8, an error occurred and the children were given to the wrong parents.

Both mothers had reservations when they received newborns but did not insist. The Manon’s parents understood the mistake when the child was 10 years old. The father asked for DNA tests because he saw that the child did not look like him at all and had dark skin. She even believed there was a problem with her mother and demanded control. After the test, they discovered that the child was not theirs.

He immediately began researching to find the other family. They were told that three newborns suffered from jaundice, a boy and two little girls in the maternity ward. They eventually ended up in the other family with the second girl, who originated from the exotic island of Reunion, a former French colony, and lives in the same Cannes area. This is also explained by the fact that the little girl has exotic features, dark skin and hair.

Parents met their biological child for the first time when she was 10 years old but do not ask for an exchange. “It was a strange and troubled moment,” recalls Manon today. “I found myself in front of a woman who is my biological mother and was unknown.”

Since then the two families have been removed. “It was very difficult, everyone was taking his way because he was very exhausting emotionally, we had to find some fixes,” says Ms Sophie Sarano at the French News Agency.
Ten years later, the two families have decided to seek damages in court for 12 million euros. They request EUR 3 million for each girl who changed the maternity ward, 1.5 million for three of the parents, 750.000 for each sibling and sister. And they decided to keep non-biological children who had grown for 20 years.