Two French 20-year-old girls who were swapped at birth have won the court case on Feb. 10, 2014. The court has ruled $2.2 million must be paid in total to both families.
Two youngsters in France did not get to meet their biological families until quite late in their lives, due to a terrible mistake. A clinic in the city of Cannes accidentally swapped two newborn baby girls in July 1994, after both babies had been in an incubator because of jaundice.
A tribunal in the city of Grasse, near Cannes, has ruled against the clinic where the babies were swapped and also against the clinic’s insurance company. Both organizations will have to pay the families the aforementioned monetary sum, to repair the damage resulting from having failed to meet their obligations.
According to the court ruling, each girl (whose names are Mathilde and Manon), will have to be paid $453,000. The three parents involved will get each $339,000, and $68,000 will go to each of the three siblings.
In July 1994, Mathilde and Manon were born in a clinic in Cannes and both suffered from jaundice from birth. The babies were placed in the same incubator and apparently they were not wearing the wristbands that would help identify them.
When the babies were given back to their mothers by an assistant nurse, both women raised doubts individually to hospital staff but they did not share them with one another. Manon’s legal mother claimed the child she had been given had more hair than previously, however the clinic’s staff assured her it was a side effect from the lamps in the incubator. Little did they know their two girls had been swapped, and that they would have to meet in court 20 years later to win a very controversial case.
A few years after the children were born, Manon’s parents ended up ordering a DNA test to check if the little girl was their biological daughter, as the differences between child and parents were no less than striking. When growing up, Manon grew curly hair and her skin was olive toned, bearing no resemblance with her parents at all. Doubts in the couple arose and they eventually divorced due to Manon’s father’s suspicions of his wife being unfaithful.
When Manon was 10 years old, a DNA test was carried out and the results showed Manon’s parents were not her biological parents. They took the case to court and, after an investigation, the other family was located. After performing further tests, both families realized their offspring had been swapped 10 years earlier.
The two families agreed in not wanting to have anything to do with one another, as it is quite distressing for them to meet. The idea of each child going with their biological family has also always been out of the question.
Manon’s mother, Sophie, has declared she feels relieved after so many years of blaming herself. Mother and child have expressed how it has been worth to keep fighting for the clinic to take responsibility for what they did. Having been swapped after birth was a mistake none of the families will be able to forget, but now both girls and their relatives will get a generous compensation after having won this case.
By Vanessa Pouso