A couple whose newborn baby was accidentally swapped for another have finally been able to return home with their son.
The child’s mother gave birth in her home country of El Salvador in Central America via an emergency caesarean section. Immediately following the birth, her child was taken to the hospital nursery. The following day, the nurses brought the woman a child they insisted was hers.
Although the woman and her British husband cared for the child, she had doubts. She thought that the child she had been given had darker skin than the one she give birth to. Despite feelings of immense guilt, she had the child’s DNA tested when the couple returned to their home in Dallas, Texas.
When the results showed that there was no biological match between the mother and child, she “just fell to the floor”. Meanwhile, her husband “felt a panic that [his] only child was lost or stolen”.
The parents then returned to El Salvador and the two babies were given back to their actual families. They were four months old by the time this happened, but the ordeal did not end there. It took the couple nine months to secure the necessary paperwork to bring their son back to the United States with them. The process almost caused them to go bankrupt, the BBC reports.
The father said he had anticipated the process would take “a matter of days, maybe weeks but not nine months”.
They were assisted by Bernhard Garside, the British Ambassador to El Salvador. He said that the situation “looked very much like an uphill struggle” when he first got involved and he was initially worried that they “weren’t really going to see a happy conclusion”. In the end it was “good old fashioned diplomacy” which secured the family’s future, he claimed, adding that moments like this one “makes [his] job worthwhile”.