Woman in Spain’s La Rioja discovers she was swapped as a baby in maternity ward mix up and brought up by wrong family

A WOMAN is seeking €3 million in damages from health authorities after discovering that two decades ago, she and another newborn were accidentally swapped at birth and brought up by the wrong families.

The mix-up, which occurred in 2002 at a hospital in Spain’s La Rioja region, emerged by chance after a DNA test. 

Regional health chief Sara Alba has acknowledged the mistake and described it as ‘human error’.

The girls were born within five hours of each other at the now closed San Millan Hospital and placed in incubators side by side before being handed to the wrong families.

Baby Swap
Image: Pixabay

The switch was discovered by one of the girls, who was brought up by her grandmother, four years ago after the grandmother filed a claim for maintenance from her absent father.

When he refused, a Logroño Court then ordered a DNA test, which confirmed that the man was not the biological father. 

After the shock discovery she then found out that there was no genetic relationship with the woman she considered to be her mother either.

The discovery led to an investigation by the regional health authority, which found that there was only one other baby with whom she could have been accidentally switched.

That woman has now also been informed.

The lawyer representing the woman claiming for compensation, José Saez-Morga, said the damage caused to the plaintiff is “immeasurable, ongoing and lifelong” because “this person will never be free from the impact of this mix-up”.


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