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Baby swop: Stellenbosch dad on the agony of discovering his daughter was switched at birth

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Ellen and Patrick Lawrence's baby was swopped with another couple's baby in 1971. (PHOTO: Magazine Features)
Ellen and Patrick Lawrence's baby was swopped with another couple's baby in 1971. (PHOTO: Magazine Features)

They were bursting with joy when they brought home their newborn so many years ago. But their happiness turned to horror when they discovered their baby wasn’t their biological child – and the trauma that followed has been hard to forget.

Ellen and Patrick Lawrence were elated to become parents. But from the start Patrick couldn’t understand why the little girl looked so different from anyone in their family. 

He decided to investigate and discovered his daughter had been swopped with another little girl at the Stellenbosch hospital where Ellen had given birth. Here, Patrick (74) writes a moving open letter to the Western Cape family who recently discovered their 14-year-old son was swopped at birth.

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