Two Argentine men find out they were switched at birth

November 16th, 2011 - 11:46 am ICT by IANS  

Buenos Aires, Nov 16 (IANS/EFE) Two men living a few blocks from each other in the Argentine town of Azul learned at the age of 34 that a nurse inadvertently switched them at birth, the mother of one of them said.

The case of Gustavo Germain and Javier Delmasso is now public knowledge three years later, and both are still upset and unable to believe what happened, Marta Delmasso, the biological mother of Gustavo, told EFE.

“The truth is we all feel bad. It’s hard to take. My husband cries all the time. I never saw the real son of my womb when he was born, I saw him for the first time when he was 34 years old. It’s terrible,” she said.

Marta said she never suspected anything, even though she noticed, as did the biological mother of Javier, that when they brought her baby to her in September 1974 after he spent the night in the ward for newborns, he wasn’t wearing the clothes she brought for him.

The nurse immediately apologised and said it was a normal mistake, that she had mixed up his clothes with those of the baby next to him.

Javier was the first who years ago began to have his doubts when he tried to donate blood to his sister and found he had a different blood type than was indicated on his birth certificate.

Added to that episode was a chance meeting with his real biological brother and the father of Gustavo, who was really his own father, in July 2007, when he was amazed by the physical resemblance he had with them, a likeness he never shared with those he always believed to be his family.

For years the two families lived five blocks from each other, so that the two boys “knew each other by sight”, Marta Delmasso said.

In 2009, Javier had DNA testing done with the family he grew up in and then with that of Gustavo, who at first “didn’t want to know anything, he didn’t want to stir up the past” until the situation had gone too far to turn back, the men told the daily Tiempo Argentino.

“There’s a lot of pain in both families”, but “we must learn to add it all up, because the boys have four parents, they’re privileged”, Marta said.

The case is under investigation, but up to now the nurse who switched the babies has not been located.

–IANS/EFE
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