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Nov 01, 2011, 10.37 AM IST | Source: Reuters

Hospital pays up after 12 years for baby mix-up

Hospital pays up after 12 years for baby mix-up

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian court ordered a maternity hospital to pay two families about $100,000 apiece on Monday for mixing up their newly born daughters 12 years ago.

The twist of fate was uncovered by a genetic test for alimony proceedings that showed the astounded parents of one of the children that the girl they had brought up since birth was not in fact their biological daughter.

"You cannot imagine our feelings," the parents of the two girls were quoted as saying by Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper. "The lawyers for the defendant insisted right to the end that there had been no loss for us."

The mix-up is thought to have occurred partly because the girls' mothers had similar surnames beginning with four identical letters and gave birth at the same ward just 15 minutes apart.

Local media said the two daughters will stay with their current families but that their parents are trying to find a way to move closer so that the girls can visit their biological parents.

As the local maternity hospital does not have the funds to pay the parents, the local authority will have to foot the bill, local media said.

(Reporting By Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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