Personal Stories

Their Babies Were Mistakenly Switched At Birth Four Years Ago, But Will They Surrender The Children They Have Raised To Take Back Their Biological Children?


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Four years ago, two South African women gave birth to their children at the same hospital, on the same day. An event happened that made the women realise that their babies were switched at birth.

While one is still in denial, the other can’t wait to have her ‘original’ baby back. It is however shocking how a hospital could confuse two babies of different genders.

“They said the baby is not yours and I almost died because I felt that I had just lost a child,” Nuzipo told 60 Minutes Australia.

Nuzipo and Maya had given birth on the same day through Cesarean Section and both needed post-surgery care, so, they didn’t get to spend time with their children after birth. Unfortunately, they were attended to by the same midwife, who put the wrong name tags on the babies despite being different genders.

Meanwhile, when Nuzipo’s baby (Zama) was handed to her, she questioned the gender because she knew she gave birth to a girl. She asked if the nurses had made a mistake but they laughed at her, noting it was impossible, so, she let the matter go.

In her mind, she felt the mistake could be from her, so, she took the blame and kept quiet. She took her baby home, unaware that at the end of Johannesburg city, another mother was raising the baby girl she gave birth to.

For Maya, when her baby was handed to her, she never had any iota of doubt about the gender of her baby. Unlike Nuzipo, Maya was very sure that the baby handed to her was her daughter.

Two and a half years later, Zama’s father demanded a DNA test from Nuzipo and they found out that Zama was not a match both to his father and mother and that led them to the South African Department of Health, who conducted a test on all the mothers that gave birth the day Nuzipo had her baby.

It was realised that Maya was with Nuzipa’s baby girl, (Thandi) and Nuzipo was with Maya’s baby boy.

“No, you lie. This is my baby,” Maya screamed in unbelief when she was told her baby girl, Thandi, wasn’t hers.

Until the high court of Pretoria decides the fate of the mothers and their children, the women are allowed to visit each other and spend time with their biological children.

While Nuzipo is very in love with her biological daughter, Maya has no feelings whatsoever for her biological son. According to her, she loves her daughter so much and nothing could change it.

“Yes, they say he’s my baby but I feel nothing for him,” Maya says. According to Maya, if the court swaps the babies, she doesn’t think she would survive it.

“I think I will kill myself. Its better to die because I like my daughter so much,” Maya says.

It’s however, the opposite for Nuzipo, who believes that each woman should be given their biological children. Even though the decision will break many hearts, Nuzipo still believes it is the right thing to do.

Watch the video here

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