Switched At Birth: French Mothers Given The Wrong Babies 20 Years Ago Awarded $450,000

French women switched at birth more than 20 years ago now have a handful of cash to help make up for the mix-up.

The women were accidentally switched at birth while they were newborns at a clinic. The infants were both suffering from jaundice at birth, so doctors at Clinica Jourdan in Cannes placed them in the same incubator.

But a nurse taking care of the the babies mixed them up when taking them out of the incubator, with each child being sent home with the wrong family. Both mothers sensed something was wrong and raised concerns, but clinic administrators reassured them that no mistake was made.

The signs continued to mount for Sophie Serrano, whose daughter Manon Serrano was accidentally given to the other mother. When she turned three, Manon grew curly hair and olive-toned skin, unlike either of her parents. Rumors began to spread around the family’s village that Sophie Serrano had an affair, causing her husband to separate.

It took more than a decade for the families to learn that their children had indeed been switched at birth. The mother of one of the girls discovered took a DNA test in 2004 that showed the baby was not biologically hers.

“It’s a relief. We have waited for this for so long,” Sophie Serrano said on iTele TV station.

Now a court in Grasse has ruled that the clinic must give 400,000 euros ($451,760) to each of the women. The clinics will also have to pay 300,000 euros to each of the parents and 60,000 euros to the brothers and sisters of the women switched at birth.

“I am perfectly satisfied (with the ruling) because responsibility within the medical chain was acknowledged,” the lawyer for the victims, Gilbert Collard, said in a telephone interview.

The families of the French women switched at birth got far from what they wanted, however. Their lawsuit originally sought 12 million euros in damages.

[Image via Homefiil.com]