If you found out your preschooler wasn't biologically yours, could you give her back in exchange for the child who was? This is a question a South African court is set to decide.
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A South African switched-at-birth story has gone to the courts, because while one mother wants her biological daughter back, the other mother wants to keep the girl she's raised from infancy. This decision is now up to a judge, but can you put yourself in the position these two mothers have found themselves in?

Switched at birth

In 2010, two moms gave birth to baby girls in South Africa on the same day. Fast-forward to a few years later, and the ex-husband of one mom demands a DNA test because he doesn't think he's the father of the girl and hopes to get out of paying child support. Both parents got an unpleasant surprise when the results came back — neither Mom nor Dad was the biological parent of the little girl.

Further investigation revealed that around the time her baby was born, the infant was accidentally switched with another girl who was born on the same day. The mother who discovered this was understandably devastated, and she wants her biological daughter back.

So, let's make another switch, shall we? Simply return each girl to her biological mother. Well, not so fast. The mother of the other little girl isn't interested at all in trading her for another girl, even though she is her biological offspring. With no hope of changing either mothers' minds, the case will now be decided in court.

What would you do?

I have a 4-year-old daughter whom I have, of course, raised from infancy. She is mine, and I am hers. This is her home, her family and her life. If somehow it was discovered that she was the biological child of another mother and that in fact my child was being raised in another home, could I trade her off for another girl?

No. I really don't think I could. It would not only be traumatizing for me, but it would likely be a horrifying thing for her to go through. Taking her from the only home she's ever known and thrusting her into another family would be so difficult for us both. And really, "difficult" is an understatement. And from my perspective, not only would I lose the child that I had nurtured from birth, but I would be faced with getting to know and love my biological girl, which would be extremely challenging.

How could I look at her face and not imagine what my "other" daughter would look like as she grows? How could I try to figure out her likes and dislikes and watch her interact with the things I had prepared for the baby I brought home from the hospital? Would she wear her clothes? Would she sleep with me too?

A case for the courts

I'm sure that after the pain of the separation had abated, the girl I gave up would adapt and grow to love her biological mother. She's young enough that she might even forget me and the memories and love we shared. When you think about it, children who are adopted, even after experiencing the most traumatic situations, usually fit in seamlessly with their families.

I do, however, feel for the mom who wants her biological child back. I really don't know how this will play out in the courtroom, but I will say that I'm glad I have no part in making the decision.

Tell us!^

What would you do?

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