Talk about an expensive mix-up.
Two Russian families whose daughters were accidentally switched at birth in the hospital were each awarded $100,000 in compensation, BBC reports.
Irina and Anya were born 15 minutes apart in the same maternity ward in December 1998 in Kopeysk. The girls’ families had no clue about the switch until the couple who brought up Irina went through divorce proceedings, BBC reports.
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Yuliya Belyaeva’s husband refused to pay child support for Irina, because he said the 12-year-old, with dark hair, dark eyes and olive skin, looking nothing like him, the Associated Press reports. After an ordered DNA test, it was revealed that neither of them were Irina’s biological parents.
From the divorce proceedings an official investigation tracked down Irina’s biological father, Naimat Iskanderov, who had been raising Belyaeva's own child, Anna, in a nearby town, AP reports.
"It is very unpleasant to relive those memories," Belyaeva said, the Associated Press reports. "We still can't fully comprehend what happened."
The judge award the money to the families in hopes that they buy properties close by each other, the BBC reports. I would like us to share a house so that we don't worry about her daughter coming to me and the other way round,' Irina's biological father, Naimat Iskanderov said, the UK’s Daily Mail reports.
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The transitions for the families will be far from easy, especially since Irina's natural father Naimat Iskanderov is from Tajikistan and a strict Muslim, while Yulia Belyaeva is a Russian Orthodox Christian, according to the BBC.
“What I fear most is that the daughter I've raised will start going drinking in bars, that she will stop praying and working,” said Iskanderov.