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Growing Up Russia

Here is a weird one from a NYTimes blog:

In Russia last week, two mothers were ordered by the courts to exchange the two-year-old boys whom they had each raised from birth but who did not belong to them. A nurse — the only one on duty in the main hospital of the city Mtsensk on a night when there were 20 newborns needing care — had mixed up the children in the nursery, sending each baby home with the wrong mother. The mistake was discovered recently when one of the mothers was going through some baby memorabilia and noticed, for the first time, that another woman’s name was on her son’s maternity ward identification tag.

Confrontations, tears and DNA tests followed, and now the boys are back with their biological families. But the damage can never fully be undone.

How do you stop loving a child you thought was your own for two years? How do you explain to a two-year-old that Mama isn’t Mama anymore?

The identity politics of having been raised as a Chechen will probably stick with the poor guy his whole life…