Published On: Tue, Aug 30th, 2016

Best friends shocked to find out they were switched at birth 41 years back

492 views

Two best friends who were born just three days apart break down in tears after being told they were switched at birth 41 years ago

  • Two best friends have been told they were separated at birth 41 years ago 
  • David Tait and Leon Swanson were born in Manitoba, Canada, in 1975
  • New DNA evidence revealed the two were switched after being born 
  • ‘I want answers so bad,’ Tait said during a press conference on Friday
  • It is the second high-profile switched baby case in the area in the past year 

Two 41-year-old best friends have broken down in tears after being told they were switched at birth and spent their lives with each other’s biological family.

David Tait and Leon Swanson were swapped in the government-run Norway House Hospital in 1975 in the western Canadian province of Manitoba, DNA testing has confirmed.

‘I want answers so bad,’ Tait said, choking back tears at a press conference in Winnipeg on Friday.

He added that he felt ‘distraught, confused and angry.’

Swanson tried to hold back tears and said he did not know what to say.

Tait’s biological mother ended up raising Swanson instead, and Swanson’s birth mother raised Tait, CBC News reported.

Norway House is made up of two northern Manitoba communities and has a population of about 5,000 predominantly indigenous Cree Nation people.

379E9A8400000578-3760734-image-m-68_1472268260858

It is accessible by airplane and a long indirect road linking it with Winnipeg, about 500 miles (800 km) to the south.

'The federal government owes these people,' Robinson said. 'What happened to them is criminal'. David Tait (left) and Leon Swanson (right) Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3760734/Second-case-babies-switched-Canadian-hospital-shakes-community.html#ixzz4IoS1L2qw  Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

‘The federal government owes these people,’ Robinson said. ‘What happened to them is criminal’. David Tait (left) and Leon Swanson (right)

In November, the Manitoba government said two other men who were close friends were also switched at birth in 1975, at the same Norway House Hospital. As they grew up, people noticed how they resembled each other’s family more than their own.

Eric Robinson, a former Manitoba cabinet minister who is helping the men in the latest case, said there were always suspicions in the community about their parentage.

379D721500000578-3760734-image-a-2_1472260287280

‘The federal government owes these people,’ Robinson said.

379D721900000578-3760734-image-a-3_1472260291506

‘What happened to them is criminal.

‘We can live with one mistake, but two mistakes of a similar nature is not acceptable.

‘We can’t slough it off as being a mistake. It was a criminal act.’

Eric Robinson (pictured), a former Manitoba cabinet minister who is helping the men in the latest case, said there were always suspicions in the community about their parentage

Eric Robinson (pictured), a former Manitoba cabinet minister who is helping the men in the latest case, said there were always suspicions in the community about their parentage

The former aboriginal affairs minister added he suspects there are more undiscovered cases.

‘It’s something (the government) can’t sweep under the carpet. There are lingering questions out there,’ Robinson said.

‘These two gentlemen are not the only victims. We have families who are deeply hurt by this. We have siblings … that are hurt by this.’

Canada’s health department operates the Norway House hospital.

Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpott said the second case ‘deeply troubled’ her, before adding an independent party will be hired to investigate hospital records and look into whether there are other such cases.

‘Cases like this are an unfortunate reminder to Canadians of how urgent the need is to provide all Indigenous people with high-quality health care,’ Philpott said in a statement.

Canada’s 1.4 million indigenous people often live in dire social and economic conditions with subpar health and education services.

Practices to ensure the identities of newborns have improved since the 1970s, and Norway House Hospital now fits infants with identification bands, the health department said in a statement.

379D721000000578-3760734-image-a-6_1472260310208

Courtesy: Daily Mail

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

Pin It