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Saudi woman gets $533k after being swapped at birth, then living in poverty

A Saudi woman receives $533,000 in compensation after being switched at birth and brought up by a poor family

A woman in Saudi Arabia has been awarded at least two million riyals ($533,334) after being accidentally swapped at birth with another baby and being raised by a poor family for over three decades.

The claimant, now aged 35 was born to wealthy parents at a government-run hospital in Makkah, according to local newspaper Al-Watan. However, a nurse who had bathed the new-born babies mistakenly returned them to the wrong mothers.

The report stated that the woman felt she was different from her family while growing up having "lived her childhood and youth for nearly 35 years with a family different from her in colour, character, culture, educational and living standards and taste." This prompted her to look into her lineage and take a DNA test not long after she was married to a relative from her non-biological family and gave birth to a son by him.

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After discovering that she was not related in any way to the child's father, a search for hospital records revealed the identity of her biological sister and that her mother had died before knowing the truth about the switch up or having the chance to meet her.

The General Court in Makkah ruled that it was "impossible to assess the scale of the pain and disappointment both the parents and the woman had to suffer, as they were deprived of opportunities to enjoy their parent-child relationship for good."

The other woman involved in the baby swap was also awarded 1.7 million riyals ($453,333) as compensation by an administrative court in Jeddah.

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