Baby swap: Austrian hospital to pay 90,000-euro fine after family finds out about blunder

Baby swap: Austrian hospital to pay 90,000-euro fine after family finds out about blunder
A court in southern Austria ordered a hospital to pay 90,000 euros in damages to the family whose daughter was found to have been switched at birth nearly 27 years ago.

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Doris Grünwald, born in 1990, found out her blood type was not matching the one on her birth documents, when she went to donate blood at the age of 22. She subsequently took a DNA test, which confirmed she wasn’t related to her parents.

In 2016, the Grünwald family decided to go public, accusing the University Hospital Graz of incompetence. The mother, Evelin Grünwald, said she was convinced the mistake occurred in the hospital, since she hadn’t seen the baby during first 20 hours after giving birth by Caesarean section,  Kleine Zeitung reports. The court agreed, ruling out the possibility of mixing up babies after the first contact with the mother.

Doris, Evelin and her husband are to receive 30,000 euros each, and the hospital will also have to cover the expenses for Doris’s adoption.
 
The hospital has denied the accusations, claiming no other babies weighing so little were born at the period of Doris’s birth, who was only 1,800 grams. It will appeal the decision, citing lack of evidence.

However, when the story broke, the hospital reached out to all 200 women born during the time Doris was born, providing them with free DNA tests. Some 30 women are reported to have undergone the procedure, with no matches revealed so far.

Evelin Grünwald said the revelation came as a “huge shock” to her and Doris, adding that they “knew from the start that nothing could separate us, that we would stay mother and daughter.”

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