The biological son of the couple distressed by a baby swap incident in El Salvador was reunited with his real parents on Monday, Sept. 7. The couple residing in the U.S. claimed that their newborn child was exchanged at a private hospital in the said country and was sold to human traffickers.
British man Richard Cushworth and wife Mercedes Casanellas, an El Salvadoran woman took their concerns to the public media after results of their family's DNA tests revealed that the child they have with them was not theirs. After finding out about the shocking truth, the couple suspected that the mastermind behind the incident was Casanellas' obstetrician-gynecologist, Dr. Alejandro Guidos, who was already arrested by authorities on Thursday, Sept 3.
The investigative specialists were able to find the couple's baby by asking all the mothers who gave birth in the Ginecologico hospital, where Casanellas delivered, to undergo DNA testing.
The newborn babies of two couples were swapped, prosecutor general Luis Martinez told a local media firm. The mix up was also verified by Fernando Meneses, the lawyer of the family.
The couple flew from the U.S. to El Salvador so Casanellas could give birth in her home country. Five months into her pregnancy, the then expecting mother said that Guidos consistently reiterated that her child would have dark complexion amid the fair skin characteristics of the father. Casanellas has always found it bizarre.
"How would he know that from the ultra-sound scans, and why would he keep saying it?" she added.
When Casanellas gave birth in May 2015, she recalled that she was very stressed because her baby was not able to immediately breathe. Nonetheless, she was able to hold him and she thought that the baby looked like Cushworth, who took photos of the baby after delivery, strengthening the claim that the child given to them was not theirs. She also recalled that the anesthesiologist approached her to tell that she would be administered with something that would put her to sleep as she was then very nervous.
The next morning, when the baby was brought to her, she immediately noticed that the one handed to her looked completely different from the baby she held in the delivery room. Nonetheless, they took the baby back to the Dallas, Texas, where their relatives kept on commenting that they did not look like the dark-skinned baby. Aside from that Casanellas' motherly instincts kept on telling her that the baby was not hers.
The couple eventually flew back to El Salvador and told the hospital about their concern. The management denied the allegation, saying that their facility has high control standards hence, it is impossible for such incident to happen. However, the hospital opted to perform an internal investigation after Guidos was arrested.
Photo: Dave Herholz | Flickr