Four-month-old Pari was finally handed over by the district administration to her parents, who had refused to accept her following an inadvertent swapping by the staff of a local hospital in Panipat, on Thursday afternoon.
The custody of Pari, a name given by the hospital staff, was given to her parents after a DNA profile test ordered by the Punjab and Haryana high court confirmed parenthood of the infant.
Following confusion of tagging of newborns at Bhim Sain Sachhar Hospital, a state-run medical institute, Pari’s parents had refused to accept her as their daughter.
Pari was born on June 17 but looked after by the hospital staff for 134 days.
She was kept at the infant nursery at the hospital with round-the-clock health and safety monitoring.
Panipat tehsildar Hari Om Atri, member of the official team looking after the case, told HT on Thursday that two boys and one girl child were born at the civil hospital on June 17.
Incidentally, two mothers with the name of Kavita gave birth to a girl and a boy, but their cases were goofed up.
“Though each child is tagged soon after the birth, but owing to certain confusion, children were swapped and Kavita of Ram Nagar locality of the city was given a male child for mother feed on June 18 at the hospital. The staff realised the goof up and informed both families. But Kavita, her daily wage earner husband Amit and his family refused to accept the claim and the health authorities were blamed for intentionally swapping a boy with a girl of other family,” said Atri.
Kavita of Ram Nagar hails from a poor family and already has two daughters.
As the Panipat district authorities offered to conduct a DNA mapping at the Forensic Science Laboratory, Madhuban, Karnal of three couples and Pari to ascertain her parenthood, Kavita and her family objected to it.
The matter reached the Punjab and Haryana high court on the ground that the state police authorities might influence the scientific evidence at the state-run laboratory to ‘wrongly’ prove Pari as Kavita’s daughter.
When the court directed to the administration to go for DNA profiling test at CFSL in Chandigarh, Kavita and her family were reluctant to give their blood samples for forensic examination. After much persuasion, they agreed to give samples for DNA profiling.
Official sources said that despite knowing the fact that Kavita gave birth to a girl and a male infant was mistakenly handed over to her a day after delivery for breastfeeding, the family wanted to keep custody of the male child.
“It was Pari who suffered and stayed away from her parents who were keen to take custody of some other child. She was handed over to her natural parents in the presence of media and social organisation. Pari’s parents gave an undertaking to the district authorities to take custody of their daughter and ensure her well being,” said a district official.