Families Of Girls Swapped At Birth Awarded £60,000 By Court

Families Of Girls Swapped At Birth Awarded £60,000 By Court

Two families who discovered their daughters had been accidentally switched at birth have successfully sued their local maternity hospital. They were awarded just over £60,000 (or the more impressive sounding 3 million roubles) by a Russian court on Monday.

The heart-breaking story first came to light earlier this month after the two Russian families discovered they had been given the wrong daughters 12 years ago.

But neither child wants to leave her home and the parents they think of as their own.

The truth about the girls' identities only emerged after the ex-husband of one mother refused to pay support for his daughter because she looked nothing like him.

The case went to court in the Ural Mountains town of Kopeisk, DNA tests were ordered, and the results showed the child was not related to the parents.

"We did two DNA tests," one mother Yuliya Belyaeva said. "Both tests showed that neither my ex-husband nor I were Irina's biological parents.

"The judge couldn't believe it. She said she'd only seen cases like this on TV and didn't know what to advise us."

Belyaeva recalled that when she gave birth to her daughter in December 1998, another woman had been in labour in the same ward.

That woman was discovered on the other side of town - along with her daughter.

"It was true," Belyaeva said. "Their daughter, Anya, was blond and looked just like me and my ex-husband. And our daughter was dark-skinned and had dark hair and looked like the other father.

"Suddenly my whole world turned upside down and inside out."

But neither child wants to leave home.