Kids swap homes four years after hospital mix-up

Filed under: Divorce & Custody, Health & Safety: Babies

Occasionally you hear stories about babies that were accidentally mixed-up at birth. Generally parents opt to keep whatever child they've grown to know and love as their own -- even though, biologically at least, the child isn't theirs. However in a recent case, two families have decided to do just the opposite.

This situation involves two four-year-olds -- one Turkish, and one Saudi. While Mohammed al-Monjem, biological father of the Saudi child, had no idea that the boy he was raising was, in fact, Turkish. It was only when the Turkish father insisted that the child he lived with, Yacoub, looked far too Saudi to be his real son, that the mistake was finally revealed.

Saudi officials have vowed that they'll find whoever was responsible, so this "doesn't happen again," but I'm more worried about these two kids. How can a four-year-old understand why they're moving to another country, to live with another family -- without simply feeling rejected? I can understand how confused and angry these families must feel, robbed of raising their biological child -- but that mistake is done with now. Why punish the children for it?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.