I came across a story today about a woman who discovered that the child she has raised for 12 years is not her own. Her baby was swapped with another woman's baby in the hospital, and the mix-up only came to light when she had to fight her ex-husband for financial support for their daughter. DNA testing revealed that girl was not the biological offspring of either of them. The woman turned to the police to help her track down her daughter and now both families have regular contact, although she admits that things are strained.
It's a fascinating story that raises so many questions. It's so hard to imagine how it could happen. I get a sense when reading her story that the mother who discovered the error would have been in some ways happy to discover that her biological child had been abandoned or orphaned so that she could legitimately offer both girls a home. I can imagine feeling a similar way.
It would be impossible to stop regarding the child you have raised as your own, and almost impossible to stop yourself from interfering in the life of your biological child. The potential for resentments on all sides is huge, and I actually find it hard to visualise a happy outcome for the people involved. On the whole, I suspect it would have been better to have never discovered the mistake.
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