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Russian women switched at birth pursue legal action

By Leigh Goessl     Feb 13, 2012 in World
Orenburg - Two women, angered about information they've learned regarding their births, are pursuing legal action against a local maternity hospital in Russia's Orenburg region.
Switched at birth in 1975, the women grew up in families in Orenburg's Belyayevka village for 37 years without knowing their true birth parents, having been raised by families that were not their own. Reportedly the two women grew up as friends since their early childhood.
Itar-Tass reported locals indicated the two women did not look like either of their parents. A DNA test was conducted, and results confirmed the women grew up in the wrong households.
Angered by negligence, the women are taking the issue to court. The paperwork was filed on Jan. 30.
Russia's Pravda News reported a court of Orenburg accepted the civil action. The women are "seeking compensation for the moral damage."
Named as defendants in the case are the administration of the hospital and from the municipal administration. According to Russian publication Ria Novosti, a court press release named the plantiffs as Arkhipova N.M. and Buanova O.V.
Preliminary preparatory session for the case was held on Feb. 9 and witnesses gave their testimonies. The Orenburg Court will hear the case on Feb. 21, Itar-Tass reported a court spokesperson said.
The plaintiffs are each seeking 3 million rubles ($100,391.47) in compensation.
Last fall a similar case emerged in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia. In that case, during a divorce dispute, which resulted in genetic tests, it was found two 12-year-old girls had been switched at birth. In that case the parents also pursued legal action and the hospital was court-ordered to pay the families over 6 million rubles ($200,000).
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