twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Worst Nightmare: Swapped At Birth

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Could you give up the boy you'd raised for two years?


This is every mom's worst nightmare. Two mothers in Russia have been forced to swap their two-year-old sons after DNA tests revealed the children had been mixed up as newborns by a careless nurse, according to Sky News.

A court ordered the two women to exchange the boys they had raised as their own, the Russian media is reporting.

How could something like this happen? The error was uncovered when one of the mothers, Anna Androsova, discovered her son's maternity ward ID tag actually had the mother's name Zarema Taisumova on it. Androsova tracked down the Chechen woman, saw the blue-eyed boy and declared, "This is my son."

But Taisumova refused to swap the children without proof. The hospital in central Russia ordered DNA tests, which confirmed the boys had been mixed up.

Androsova initially pleaded with her family to keep Nikita, the boy she had raised for two years as her own. But she later decided to pursue the exchange through the court.

Weeks after the switch, Taisumova was still deep in shock, interviewed on Russian television with her biological son playing on her lap.

She has changed her dark-haired and brown-eyed biological son's name from Nikita to Ali, but said she would continue to love the other little boy whom she had named Adlan.

Both children are reportedly struggling to adapt to their new families. Adlan, now called Nikita by his biological mother, misses his Chechen mom and his older brother says he loved the old Nikita more.

The maternity ward has blamed the error on a lack of staff, explaining only two nurses were caring for 20 newborns. The nurse responsible for the error has been fired, and the hospital's head doctor said there is little else they can do.

To prevent something like this from ever happening again, many hospital maternity wards have rigid safety practices in place. In India, they tag the newborns and their mothers with unique Radio Frequency IDs, which can prevent stealing as well as swapping by mistake while the baby is in the hospital. In Spain, babies are fingerprinted at birth.

Here in the States, hospitals routinely use triple and sometimes quadruple identification bands to insure that a baby is not separated from its mother, reports the New York Times.

Could you hand over a child you had raised for two years? Which pull would be stronger for you -- nature or nurture? Comment in our momlogic community.

Connect and win in the momlogic community!

Enter the community

Get the latest news, celebrity gossip, and stories!

Newsletter sign up

next: Casey Anthony's Jail Visitation Rumors
302 comments so far | Post a comment now
Tanya April 2, 2009, 8:47 PM

I have to point out that this can’t happen when you stay at home to give birth…

diane April 2, 2009, 8:49 PM

The 2 year olds will adapt since they most likely have no memory of the event. The mothers and siblings are another story

Sunny April 2, 2009, 8:51 PM

All of you are melodramatic, though it is sad; the only ones that will remember any of this will be the older sibling and the mothers. The two boys though confused now will be fine as long as the mothers give the same type of love and support as before.

Amy April 2, 2009, 8:52 PM

How in the world did it take TWO years for her to notice the tag from the maternity ward???

Putinschild April 2, 2009, 8:52 PM

And people wonder why there is a Nursing shortage!! Automatically, everyone blames the “careless” nurse. “She should be prosecuted!” BS!

This was a nurse doing a thankless, low-paid, understaffed, stressed to the max job that no one else wants…and those that can…leave! In Russia or the US, the HOSPITAL should be held accountable for putting the babies (first) and the nurses (second) in a dangerous situation where any reasonable person could see this happening! The nurses had no choice (no Unions!), but to work
to keep their jobs..which in the US almost always means “frivilous lawsuits” hanging over your heads.

Have you ever tried to be responsible for 20 or more babies?! I have. Someone calls in sick…tough! You’re a nurse…do the impossible! And don’t forget to smile and be professional and courteous to all…even if they treat you like crap!

The children always suffer for cruddy, greedy, money-grubbing healthcare systems! Go Obama! Change now!

Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

regina April 2, 2009, 8:53 PM

Oh, come on, Chris B! Clearly you’re not a parent. To rail against adoptive moms - and there aren’t nearly enough of them - displays your ignorance, and your lack of a generous heart. If fate is on the side of compassion, you’ll never be a father.

Anonymous April 2, 2009, 8:54 PM

I agree with the blood bond thing. Although you do love the other child, blood is thicker than water… as a mother, it holds true and there is nothing stronger than the bond to your own child.

MJ April 2, 2009, 8:55 PM

Some years ago there was a little girl that was given up for adoption. She was raised by a couple until she was two and the birth mother wanted her back. She was given back to the birth mother. Everyone said that she would adjust and did adjust. I still wonder if that was true, or just propaganda. I was not buying the story

Corey April 2, 2009, 9:01 PM

Why couldn’t the children have stayed where they were…..and then the parents set up a way for both families to stay in contact, let the children know what happened a little at a time as they are growing up….kinda like both famlies did an “open adoption”. That way, neither child has a sibling that states ” I liked my old brother better” and will probably resent his parents and siblings for the rest of their life. What a way to ruin the begining of a humans life. The most important years are the first 5, and half of that is already gone for these poor kids!

Brandi April 2, 2009, 9:03 PM

I have a 5 and a 9 yr old. I could never give them up even if I found that they were not mine. I would want to visit with my other child. I would want to be the loving “aunt” and spend as much time with him/her as possible but love is what matters. This is a little person who you’ve held thorugh the long nights. This is the little person who you have poured your heart and soul into. What more would a child need? And trust me….. there are times when a child is better off not knowing who the parents are!!

rettak8 April 2, 2009, 9:04 PM

there is no way I could raise a child for 2 yrs and then trade it because I found out it was not my biological child. I would have fought to keep the child I had raised and made friends with the other mother so we could exchange pics and see our biological children, but I would not have traded!! DNA does not make a parent!!!

Vanessa April 2, 2009, 9:05 PM

For those of you who do not believe in “blood bonds,” how do you explain the ongoing battle of adopted children to have their adoption records opened, so that they can track down their “real” families?

JJ April 2, 2009, 9:05 PM

The kids will adjust if the people around them let them. If anyone grows up being told that they would have rather had the first baby and not them it would have a negative effect. I think that the right decision was made to switch the children. It was after all one of the parents who first pursued the issue anyway. She knew the child she was raising wasn’t hers and she wanted HER baby. Why punish the mother and ultimately one of the kids for a nurse’s mistake. It would have been better if it was done earlier but even here in the US it takes the Courts forever to make a decision.

UncleD April 2, 2009, 9:06 PM

These boys are two years old. Although they have bonded with the non-biological mothers, those memories will fade fast. Better now at two than at 6 or 7. How many of you young people in your 20’s or 30’s can remember anything about your first two or three years of life??

Sam April 2, 2009, 9:06 PM

I have a 3 yr old daughter and let me tell you, she remembers EVERYTHING!! She does not forget a thing and to say the little boys ” will never remember anything” is just a big lie. And no, she’s not adopted.

Sunrisedrp April 2, 2009, 9:06 PM

My daughter is my daughter even if she were not my biological daughter… they should have left well enough alone!

If I were told that my daughter had to be swapped back I would never recover from it!

andista April 2, 2009, 9:08 PM

My son is almost 2, and if someone came to me and said that he wasn’t mine, and took him I would be devestated. So no, I couldn’t just abandon a child I’d raised for 2 years because someone decided that he really belonged to someone else. I would want to stay in touch with the other family, but that would be it.

iben April 2, 2009, 9:14 PM

Both children should have been placed in foster care. Completely start over from scratch with two non-involved adoptive parents. We have to do what’s right for the child.

Anonymous April 2, 2009, 9:15 PM

im not sure whats going to happen in the future for those boys but if it happened to me i would fight till the end to keep the child i raised for 2 years dna to me means nothing i think the parents should of fought to keep the child they raised for 2 years

Anakin April 2, 2009, 9:18 PM

At age 2, those children will do fine with the swap and they will develop a strong nurturing bond with their own mothers. I have grandchildren who lost their mother and dad remarried a year later to a wonderful new wife who has taken on the role of mom in a very good way. The children are emotionally very well off and they are now 4 and 7. If you talk with young adults ages 18 - 22 from broken homes, due to divorce and remarriage, many of them say it was difficult but that in the end they did fine, often bonding better to the step parent than the noncustodial natural parent. If the Russian mothers truly give the love they have in their hearts, the boys will do fine. May the Force be with them.

Back to top >>