BackStories » Vietnam » A Hospital Mistakenly Gave 2 Families the Wrong Babies in 2012. Now, a Father Is Suing.

Two families gave birth to sons 20 minutes apart from each other in late 2012, setting in motion a string of tragedies that are still affecting those involved.

According to VnExpress, a Hanoi man named Phung Giang Son has petitioned the Ministry of Health regarding an erroneous mistake made by Ba Vi General Hospital, where his newborn was accidentally switched with another baby. Son is demanding to take back his biological son and pursue legal actions against the hospital and its staff members.

It all started on November 1, 2012, when Son's wife and Vu Thi Huong, the principal of a private kindergarten, gave birth to two boys minutes apart at the facility. When they were given the wrong babies, both families raised concerns since they noticed that the newborns were wearing different diapers. However, according to the news source, the nurses denied the possibility and insisted there had been no mistakes.

Although doubts remained, both families went on to bring up each child with love and care, though the children's appearances did not match their parents'. One family, however, was less lucky than the other.

Huong divorced her husband in 2015 after he accused her of committing adultery. At first, her husband had accepted the child, but when they had a second baby who did resemble them, their marriage began to fall apart, the news source shares.

Son, meanwhile, eventually insisted on a DNA test for him, his wife and his son. The results astounded them, as the child was not related. Son promptly reported this to the hospital in April, and the facility admitted their wrongdoing while promising to return Son's son to him in two weeks. But three months later, the boy still had not been returned.

Son then went to the Ministry of Health. On July 10, Tuoi Tre reports, the ministry ordered Ba Vi General Hospital to punish the involved staff members and resolve the situation. The father also sued the hospital and pressed for compensation for the physical and emotional trauma created for both families, stating that the mistake was "unforgivable" in a separate VnExpress story.

Nguyen Quoc Hung, the director of Ba Vi General Hospital, has since stated that: "The medical staff involved in the 2012 accident have faced disciplinary action for their carelessness and negligence that has hurt the two families and affected the prestige of the health sector."

But the prospect of returning the two boys to their parents remains problematic. While Son desperately wants his biological son back, Huong is unprepared to accept this truth and part with her "son."

Nguyen Ngoc Vinh, head of the hospital's General Planning Department, told VietnamNet: "She told us that she was not ready. There were times when she felt ready but regretted it immediately that night." Another representative from the hospital told Tuoi Tre: "I hope Son’s family gives her more time. She’s also suffering from mental anguish."

It remains unclear how this situation will be resolved. Although Son's family has seen their biological son 10 times since the DNA results came out, Huong is still the child's guardian, and his real parents can only visit their son if they come to her hometown.

This is not the first incident of this kind in Vietnam. In 2016, Huynh Thi Ngoc Yen and Vu Ngoc Lan Anh, who were both three years old at the time, were found to have been switched at birth at Binh Long General Hospital in Binh Phuoc Province, VnExpress reports. Meanwhile two Hanoian women who were raised by the wrong families for over 40 years before reuniting with their biological parents in 2017.

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