Newborns switched at birth led drastically different lives
A poor Japanese man was recently told that he has lived another man's life his entire life. Sixty years ago, two babies were switched at birth, but it wasn't discovered until recently just how drastically different the fortunes were for the two reversed men.
A Japanese judge ruled against the responsible hospital in a lawsuit where two babies, who were born within minutes of each other, were switched by accident in 1953. Unlike in the movies where the Prince and the Pauper exchanged clothing for fun to experience each other's lives for a short time, this switch was practically permanent because it was 60 years before it was discovered.
The baby from a wealthy family ended up in a family living on government assistance, where he was raised by his widowed mother who also had other children. They lived in a one-room home without comfort. When he was going to school, he had to go to night classes in order to work in the factory during the day. He eventually became a truck driver. He's remained single and still supports his three foster siblings, with one of them being disabled.
If he had not been switched, his fate would have been drastically different. The baby who went to the wealthy family grew up in affluence and received an excellent education. He now runs a real estate company. The wealthy parents had three younger sons who all are working for major corporations.
Although the Japanese court ruled that the hospital shall pay him a damage compensation of 38 million yens (about 371,000 in US dollars), the poor man said he wished he could turn back the clock to the time he was born because he couldn't bear the thought that he would never meet his real parents. Ever since he found out the truth, he's been crying daily looking at their photo.
What the Japanese report did not explain was why the DNA test was requested. After the wealthy parents died, the three younger sons decided to do the DNA test on the oldest brother who they felt did not resemble anyone even in the extended family. They then checked hospital records to track down the switched baby. Was there a dispute involved for the inheritance? That answer was not clear at the time of reporting. We were only told that these younger brothers plan to reunite with their real elder brother by spending time together to build up their relationship. They certainly have a lot to catch up on.