Couple Accuses Doctor Of Swapping Newborn In Child Trafficking Plot

by
Indrani Sengupta
New parents Richard and Mercedes had a strong, foreboding sense that they'd been sent home with the wrong baby. And they felt it was more than a mere mistake.

A Christian missionary couple, Richard Cushworth and Mercedes Casanella, traveled to the latter's homeland of El Salvador to have their baby. But Casanella started to suspect something was awry when she noticed that the baby she was handed at the hospital looked very different from the one she saw during the birth—he was darker-skinned, and had very different features from the baby Casanella remembered, and from either parent.

Richard Cushworth

Cushworth and Casanella took a DNA test upon returning to their residence in Dallas, Texas, and were able to confirm that the baby they'd been sent home with was not their own.

The couple was devastated, not just because they'd been stripped of their own child, but also because some other couple had been stripped of theirs. As Casanella explained to the press,

"I have a beautiful baby at home. It’s not mine and maybe there’s another mother suffering the same as I am and perhaps I have her baby.”

Mercedes Casanella

Cushworth was similarly distraught,

"It's a horrible situation for me, for her (his wife) for my family, her family. A child is an experience you have for a lifetime... this is a life-long injury that's very, very deep, and it's horrible."

Casanella

Casanella recalls that Dr. Alejandro Guidos, the gynecologist att Centro Ginecologico hospital where she gave birth, kept telling her that her son would be dark-skinned, though her husband is white. The mother-to-be found this odd.

“I always thought that was strange. How would he know that from the ultrasound scans, and why would he keep saying it?"

The couple fears that their son was intentionally swapped with another child, and that they'd been victims of child traffickers.

british baby swapped

This past Monday, four months since he was swapped, the couple's biological son was located and reunited with his parents. The other child has also been returned to his family. Prosecuter Gen Luis Martinez said that the mix-up was an accident.

Dr. Guidos has been arrested and is currently being prosecuted by authorities, although he maintains that he's done nothing wrong.

Read more: Two Women Switched At Birth Spend 24 Years With The Wrong Families

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