In July 1994, an 18-year-old French woman named Sophie Serrano gave birth to a baby girl. Sophie’s daughter was born with jaundice, so the nurse placed her in an incubator adjacent to another newborn with jaundice.
What Sophie didn’t know was that the nurse who just took her baby away was an alcoholic. Here’s where the story takes a mind-blowing turn.
The nurse, who was intoxicated, unintentionally swapped Sophie’s baby with the baby in the adjacent incubator. Sophie had a fleeting feeling that something wasn’t right — but she was young and naive, and brushed it off.
She took the baby home and named her Manon.
Ten years later, life took a shocking turn. While Sophie and Manon developed a close mother-daughter relationship, Manon’s assumed birth father, Davy, was growing indifferent to his daughter’s presence.
Though he was the unfaithful one, Davy accused Sophie of having an affair. He said she didn’t look like either of them. Sophie left Davy and ended their relationship.
But in an effort to avoid paying child support, Davy demanded DNA testing. That’s when the bombshell was finally dropped — that neither Sophie nor Davy were Manon’s birth parents.
In July 1994, Sophie Serrano gave birth to her daughter in a private clinic in Cannes, France.
At 18 years old, Sophie was still practically just a kid herself. She and her partner, Davy, were excited nonetheless.
Sophie’s daughter was born with jaundice. She required phototherapy, which would expose her skin to a type of fluorescent light.
The nurse took Sophie’s baby and placed her in another room, in an incubator adjacent to another newborn with jaundice.
What Sophie didn’t know was that the nurse who just took her baby away was an alcoholic, and at that particular time, she was intoxicated.
The nurse accidentally swapped Sophie’s baby with the baby in the adjacent incubator. The two mothers at the clinic had no idea they were given the wrong children to take home.
Sophie did, however, have a strange feeling that something wasn’t right. She noticed her daughter’s skin was too dark, but assumed it was from the incubator.
She took home the baby girl who she thought was her daughter and named her Manon.
Nearly a decade passed. Over the years, Sophie and Manon formed a wonderful mother-daughter relationship.
They couldn’t say the same about Davy, Manon’s assumed birth father.
Davy was growing indifferent to Manon. He accused Sophie of having an affair because of her strikingly different appearance.
But finally, Davy confessed he had been cheating on Sophie. The couple broke up, and in a bid to get out of paying child support for Manon, Davy demanded DNA testing.
That’s when Sophie made the shocking discovery that neither she nor Davy were Manon’s birth parents. Their world turned upside down.
Sophie was terrified. She feared the other parents would want their baby back. She feared her biological baby wasn’t even alive.
For months, Sophie was haunted by the fates of both her daughters.
Authorities began piecing the puzzle together. Sophie learned her biological daughter was named Mathilde. She lived with her family far away on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion.
Despite the fact the two families met, they stopped seeing other as it was too painful to bear.
Neither of the girls asked to be switched back.
In 2015, Sophie made headlines around the world when a French court awarded her and her family a small fortune in damages against the maternity clinic that sent her home with someone else’s baby. However, the legal victory couldn’t alleviate her panic attacks and anxiety.
She booked herself into a psychiatric clinic until she was mentally stable.
For Sophie, the arrival of Jessy with her new partner Stephane a few months later was deeply significant.
“Jessy has given me a new chance to prove that I am a mother who can protect her own children. Even though the court decided I had been in no way to blame, I had always felt a little culpable because I had not insisted when I felt there was a problem with my first baby.”
“My feelings for Manon are eternal and as powerful as those I have for my other children. There is no difference.”
For Manon, that love is returned and Sophie is still very much her mother.
Sophie and Stephane live in the South of France. Her three children, 21-year-old Manon, daughter Laura, 17, and Mickael, 12, dote on the latest arrival.