Austrian woman ‘swapped at birth’

News|June 14th 2017

An Austrian family has been awarded €90,000 (£79,000) in damages after their daughter discovered that she is not related to her parents.

Now 27, Doris Gruenwald made the traumatic discovery following a routine blood test, The Guardian reports.

She told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper:

“My whole body started shaking… It was like the ground under my feet disappeared.”

Unsurprisingly, her apparent mother Evelin was equally distraught but their relationship has endured she explained.

“Of course it was a huge shock for me and my daughter. But we knew from the start that nothing could separate us, that we would stay mother and daughter. This child is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

The family sued the hospital in their home town of Graz, claiming that staff there had mixed Doris up with another baby shortly after her birth in 1990. The hospital argued that any swap could have occurred after she and her family left the hospital but the court rejected this suggestion.

Evelin gave birth via caesarean section and the mix-up must have occurred while she was still recovering, a judge declared. She was given the child who grew into Doris 20 hours after the birth.

The hospital had been guilty of gross negligence, the court ruled, awarding €30,000 each in damages to Doris and apparent parents.

The hospital has announced plans to appeal, insisting that the judge had failed to prove they were responsible.

Meanwhile, Doris has yet to establish the identity of her biological parents.

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