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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 10:22 GMT
Swap girls return to real parents
Jaroslava Trojanova and baby Nikola
The girls were brought up by the wrong mothers for almost a year
Two babies in the Czech Republic who were accidentally swapped at birth have been returned to their real parents.

The parents decided to swap the girls back after DNA tests showed they had taken the wrong babies home. They then had weeks of counselling.

They brought forward the date of the planned return after psychologists said it would harm the girls to delay.

The hospital where they were born has sacked two nurses and disciplined five other staff members over the mix-up.

Intense preparation

The two girls, Nikola and Veronika, were born in Trebic, some 165km (100 miles) south-east of the capital, Prague, on 9 December last year.

But the hospital staff's mistake did not come to light until nine months later, when one of the fathers - who had dark hair and dark eyes - thought his blonde and blue-eyed daughter did not look like him.
The interests of the adults have been cast aside, to the children's benefit
Milan Smejkal, relative

DNA tests showed she was not related to him - or to his partner.

After deciding to swap back, the two sets of parents underwent an intensive process of preparation. They had sessions with social workers and psychologists, and began paying frequent but short visits to each other.

The original plan was to do the exchange in the New Year, but the parents decided to bring it forward after psychologists warned that the girls were starting to become very aware of their surroundings, and were forming strong attachments to the parents.

"The interests of the adults have been cast aside, to the children's benefit," a relative of one of the couples, Milan Smejkal, was quoted as saying in the Prague Daily Monitor.

Now the girls will celebrate their first birthday on Sunday with their biological parents.

Parents speak of their ordeal

Czech baby mix-up nurses sacked
12 Oct 07 |  Europe

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