"I've no reason to feel guilty for anything any more," mom Sophie Serrano said of the court's decision

By Tara Fowler
February 12, 2015 06:50 PM
Valery Hache/AFP/Getty

Two French families will receive compensation totaling $2.1 million after their babies were switched at birth.

A court decided on Tuesday that the daughters, now both 20, will get €400,000 each, while the three parents involved in the case will take home €300,000 apiece, the Associated Press reports. An additional three siblings were rewarded €60,000.

Two decades ago, an exhausted Sophie Serrano gave her newborn girl Manon, who was suffering from jaundice, to nurses to put in an incubator.

When her baby was returned to her, she recalls thinking her hair didn’t look the same.

Elsewhere at the private maternity clinic in Cannes, another new mom, who has not been publicly named, was having similar concerns about her daughter Mathilde.

Three years later, the consequences of a careless auxiliary nurse’s error began to show themselves. Manon’s hair grew curly, her skin dark. She looked nothing like either one of her parents, leading to rumors of Serrano’s infidelity.

Manon’s father left Serrano as the gossip gained momentum. He eventually insisted on a paternity test – which revealed the truth: Manon was not his daughter.

Serrano underwent her own DNA test and learned that Manon wasn’t hers either. She was shocked. “I was lost, completely knocked sideways,” she told reporters later.

She alerted the clinic in question and an investigation was launched. Her biological child was found less than 20 miles away.

“Finally, after so many years, the error has been recognized,” Serrano, now 38, said of the court’s decision.

“Now I’m cleared of everything. I’ve no reason to feel guilty for anything any more.”

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