Switched at birth: Vietnam parents raise wrong daughters for 3 years

By Phuoc Tan   July 13, 2016 | 12:46 pm GMT+7

Yes, it happened just like in a movie!

The lives of two couples in the southern province of Binh Phuoc have been turned upside down after DNA results confirmed that they have been raising the wrong daughters for the last three years.

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Trang with the DNA results. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tan

In 2013, two women gave birth to two baby girls at the same time and in the same room at Binh Long Hospital. Both baby girls weighed three kilograms. Each was given a mark on before the nurses bathed them and gave them to their families. Both women were discharged from hospital several days later.

For Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, 26, and her husband Tan (whose full name was not revealed), the last three years have been a difficult time with the suspicion of an affair putting a strain on their relationship.

Trang has two daughters but now it turns out that the second was mistakenly switched at birth. As time has passed and the daughter has grown up, it's become apparent she looks nothing like anyone in the family, while her sister looks much more like her parents.

To make matters worse, during the time Trang got pregnant, Tan was mostly out of town. He worked as a mechanic in Ho Chi Minh City and only returned home every two weeks. This reinforced his suspicion that Trang had been having an affair.

"Over the past years, the thought of breaking up with my wife tortured me," Tan said.

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Trang's husband Tan. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tan

Tan had secretly carried out his own investigation to see if his wife had been cheating on him, but found no proof.

In May this year, Trang's father accidentally passed his real granddaughter while delivering banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) in the neighborhood where the girl lives, just five kilometers from his home. The girl looked exactly like his daughter, so he immediately informed the couple. The couple decided to do a DNA test and the truth was revealed.

They left their jobs and dedicated all their time to getting their real daughter back.

When they visited the other couple's house to tell them the unbelievable story, no one trusted them.

"They thought it was a trick to kidnap their baby, so they refused to cooperate," Trang said.

The problem was only solved when Trang and her husband asked the hospital to intervene.

"It breaks our hearts that we have been unable to care for our real daughter for the last three years. We both feel ill thinking about it," Tan said. "Our lives have been turned upside down. Now all we want is to have our real daughter back," the husband said, adding that the wrong daughter is still loved by the whole family.

The hospital has publicly apologized to the families, saying it will compensate them for the mental and material losses.

"Both families said they need more time to consider the matter, so we have yet to receive any request from them," Tran Dinh Cuong, deputy director of the hospital, told VnExpress.

At present, the two families have yet to switch their babies.

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