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Birth Parents Get Swapped Babies

December 28, 2000

MAZARA DEL VALLO, Sicily (AP) _ Two girls, swapped as newborns in a Sicilian hospital in a New Year’s Day mix-up in 1998, will spend their third birthdays together, then go to live with their biological parents, news reports said Thursday.

The mix-up was discovered in October, and both sets of parents decided after counseling to reclaim their children.

The families, who live Mazara del Vallo in western Sicily, were friends, and the girls had played together in a local park.

The little girls are expected to keep in touch with the couples that had begun raising them.

Nicola Sammaritano, a lawyer for both families, said ``by the end of the month we hope everything is back to where it was three years ago″ before the girls were swapped, the ANSA news agency said.

The mix-up was discovered after one of the families began questioning why their presumed daughter didn’t resemble either parent. Blood tests revealed the girls’ real identity.

The children were born 15 minutes apart at a local hospital. The hospital has since acknowledged the mistake, saying the babies weren’t wearing ID bracelets when they were swapped.

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