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Parents Agree to Swap Children After Hospital Mixes Them Up

September 1, 1986

PORTLAOISE, Ireland (AP) _ A hospital said two newborn boys it gave to the wrong parents are now back in the right hands following a five-day mix-up.

The babies were born about 10 minutes apart on Aug. 21 at Portlaoise Hospital, and a hospital matron said identification labels on the infants and their cribs were inadvertently switched.

When the mix-up was discovered by the hospital five days later, one set of parents refused to return the child they had and left the hospital with him.

The other parents sought and won a High Court order barring the other couple from taking the baby out of the country.

On Friday, the disputed baby was returned to the hospital for treatment of jaundice, a common ailment of infants, and both sets of parents agreed to undergo blood tests to establish parentage.

The tests established beyond a doubt that the newborns were mistakenly swapped, a hospital official said Sunday, speaking on condition she not be identified.

After lengthy talks with their doctors, both sets of parents accepted the results of the tests and agreed to exchange the babies, the official said.

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