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Spanish hospital baby switch discovered two decades later

Baby containers in the maternity hospital
Posted at 3:09 PM, Sep 07, 2021

MADRID (AP) — Health authorities in Spain are blaming human error for the switching of two baby girls in a maternity ward almost 20 years ago.

The mix-up came to light after one of them discovered by chance through a DNA test as a teenager that she wasn't the daughter of her presumed parents.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Sara Alba, health chief of Spain’s northern La Rioja region, said the mixup was due to human error, and they "haven’t been able to find out who was to blame."

According to the Associated Press, the incident occurred back in 2002 at a hospital in La Rioja.

The AP reported that the newborns were born five hours apart, and since they were underweight, they were both placed in incubators.

The woman, now 19, who discovered she had been given to the wrong parents, is demanding compensation of $3.5 million.

The other woman who was handed to the wrong parents has reportedly been informed of the mistake.

Health officials said improved systems for recording births mean the same mistake couldn't happen now.

The identity of both women has not been released, the AP reported.