Babies Switched at Birth in 1994 Awarded $2M

Each girl gets $450K, families get the rest
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2015 9:28 AM CST
Babies Switched at Birth in 1994 Awarded $2M
A baby sleeps in an incubator.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

The families of two girls switched at birth in 1994 have been awarded damages—though not nearly as much as they sought. Sophie Serrano's daughter was switched with another infant when both little girls were placed in an incubator at a French hospital shortly after birth. The families discovered the switch 10 years later and ultimately met, but they decided not to switch the girls back or remain in contact; both sued the hospital for a total of about $13.5 million. Today, a French court decided the clinic must pay $2.13 million instead, with about $450,000 going to each girl, $340,000 going to each parent, and $68,000 going to each sibling, AFP reports.

The families had also sued the doctors involved, but the court threw that suit out. "They took my innocence away," Manon Serrano tells a local paper. "They took away my dreams, my hopes, my desire to have children." The mother who raised her, Sophie, adds that she "instinctively loved her biological daughter" when she saw her again, and that even though they're not a part of each other's lives, "in my heart I have four" children, not just three. The clinic blames the mix-up on an alcoholic nurse. In court, accusations were also leveled against the mothers for not making more of a fuss, though both did raise concerns that their babies didn't look right, the BBC reports. (More switched at birth stories.)

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