A woman is suing a regional health department in northern Spain for £2.5m after finding out she was switched at birth with another baby girl almost two decades ago.
The hospital, in La Rioja, has been forced to apologise, blaming "one-off human error" for the tragic mistake.
The girls – now 19 years old – found out what had happened when one of them took a DNA test which showed that the parents who brought her up were not her own.
Health authorities in the region insist that there is no corruption at their clinics, and maintain that the two babies being mixed up was merely the result of human error.
Health chief Sara Alba said during a news conference on Tuesday: “It was a human error and we haven’t been able to find out who was to blame."
Officials said they were "not aware of any other cases" of babies being switched at birth, and have insisted that such an accident would not happen today.
Alba continued: “The systems back then were different and weren’t as computerised as they are now."
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The 19-year-old, who has chosen to withhold her identity, was born in 2002 at the San Millan de Logrono hospital.
The two babies were born five hours apart and were both kept in nearby incubators around the same time, due to them being underweight.
One went on to live with her parents, and the other was raised by a woman who she believed to be her grandmother.
The switch was initially reported by the La Rioja newspaper after the mistake was first discovered four years ago when one of the girl's grandmothers complained that her father wasn't fulfilling his responsibilities.
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A DNA test was then carried out, which revealed that he was not the girl’s father. A second DNA test then showed she was not the child of the woman she thought was her mother.
Her counterpart in the swap has reportedly been informed of the life-changing error.
Attorney Jose Saez Morga told the TVR television network: “In the case of my client, she was born later but was given to the mother who gave birth to the first child. This is negligence so gross that it speaks for itself.”
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