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8 Apr, 2009 05:36

It's not my son! Mothers angry over maternity house mistake

Imagine you raised a baby, only to realize it was not yours. It sounds like something out of a soap opera, but for two mothers in Chechnya and Central Russia, the discovery has become a real-life nightmare.

Swapping names and lives… Just two months ago, dark-eyed Chechen boy Adlan was living in Central Russia. Now, he lives with a new family in the Chechen capital Grozny, thousands of kilometres away.

It followed a mix-up at the hospital which led to his natural birth mother taking the wrong baby home to Chechnya. Another woman, Anna Androsova, took home a baby she called Nikita. She was the first to learn the truth.

“Once my elder son was playing at home, he came across these name tags that are given to babies when they are born,” she said. “He gave them to me, and I suddenly saw that the name on them wasn't mine, but of another woman.”

As soon as Androsova realised what had happened, she tried to find the woman whose name was on the tags.

“She opened the door and she carried her son – and he looked like a twin of my elder boy,” she said. “That was my son, I tried to explain that to the woman, but she didn't believe me. And I went to the court.”

Now, after the boys had spent the first 20 months of their lives with people who were not their real parents, a court has ruled that both children have to be returned to their biological mothers.

And although the babies may be used to their new lives after only two months, the mother's hearts have been left broken.

“I love that boy, I miss him and can't forget him – how can I after I breastfed him?” said Chechen mother Zarema Taisumova.

The two families are not sympathetic to each other's plights and are even at loggerheads.

”I've never wanted to refuse my child, and will never give up. Now I want them both back. I want to bring them up myself,” said Taisumova.

Meanwhile, the doctors say only that those responsible have been fired and that nothing more can be done.