Page last updated at 21:50 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 22:50 UK

Award for twins switched at birth

By Adam Easton
BBC News, Warsaw

A court in Poland has awarded just over $500,000 (£339,000) in damages to the families of three women mistakenly switched at birth by hospital staff.

Two of the women are identical twins who grew up in separate families because of the mix-up.

The mistake was only discovered 17 years later after a chance meeting in the Polish capital, Warsaw.

In 1984, two-week-old identical twins Kasia and Nina were taken to a Warsaw hospital with pneumonia.

While they were there staff mistakenly switched Nina with another girl, Adita.

Afterwards doctors told the twins' parents they were not identical as first thought and so when the girls grew up nobody realised the mistake.

It was only 17 years later that Kasia was told by a friend that she was the double of another girl who lived across town.

Kasia arranged to meet her double and the pair discovered that not only did they share the same birthday, that they had similar birth marks and tastes.

Later, DNA tests confirmed the discovery.

It came as a shock to both families and has taken a heavy toll on everyone involved, especially the twins' mother.

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