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Switched babies returned to parents

Elizabeth Press · 22 Jan 2008, 02:17

Published: 22 Jan 2008 02:17 GMT+01:00

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Jeannine and Ralf Klos, ages 34 and 36, have now been reunited with their biological child.

“It was very emotional,” Jeannine Klos told reporters in Saarbrücken, a city in the western German state of Saarland.

“It is not so hard to take another child. It is a lot harder to give up a child,” added husband Ralf.

The pair realised in December that they had taken home the wrong baby from the St.-Elisabeth-Klinik in the Saarland town of Saarlouis six months earlier.

The other mother learned the truth after a paternity test came up negative, but also showed that the baby was not hers. The 15 year old mother of the other baby, who did not want to go public, noticed that the child bore no resemblance to the father and opted for the paternity test. The two mothers spent a weekend together in order to acclimatize both them and the baby girls to the change.

In order to determine the right mother, the women had to undergo 14 DNA tests. Jeannine Klos said that she had doubts from the beginning that the baby was really hers.

“I went around the maternity ward and saw a baby that looked more like my own child.”

Story continues below…

It is not known how the error could have occured. One possible cause is that mixed-up nametags caused the unwanted switch. Both families involved keep close contact with each other, but say they are looking forward to a peaceful continuation of their lives. Psychologists say that there should be no long-term damage to the girls, because they are young enough to adapt to the change.

Elizabeth Press (elizabeth.press@thelocal.de)

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