A family who believe their baby was swapped at birth and sold to human traffickers have said it is a ‘miracle’ to be reunited with their lost son after DNA test results.
Richard Cushworth and his wife Mercedes Casanellas had made a public appeal for their baby’s return after DNA tests showed the child they cared for since birth was not theirs.
They were over-joyed with the return of their son, but also their thoughts are with the other family, who had no idea they were raising a child that was not biologically theirs.
Investigators tracked down the Cushworths’ biological child by instructing other new mothers to have their babies DNA tested. Richard’s father, David Cushworth, said: “I feel for the other family. We know nothing about them, except that they only just found out that their baby isn’t really theirs. It must have been devastating.
“At least we suspected there was something wrong. It seems like they had no idea. Or if they suspected something, they didn’t want to say.”
Return of Baby from DNA Testing is a ‘Miracle’
The child exchange took place before a judge in at the Prosecutor General’s in El Salvador, with the couple turning to Facebook soon after to thank those who supported them saying: ‘There are no words to express what our heart feels to have our baby at home! Thanks to all who joined our pain and fed our hope.
‘Thank God our family this gathered, for the moment we are not allowed to upload photos but soon we’ll give them more details of the outcome of this miracle.’
The Cushworths had accused Dr Alejandro Guidos, a gynaecologist at the Centro Ginecologico hospital, of an underhanded plot with other hospital staff to switch their baby and sell him to human traffickers, presumably because he would have a higher rarity value being light-skinned.
Dr Guidos, who is still under investigation said: “I’m perfectly calm. I have nothing to prove. I am innocent… the [DNA tests] proved that and we move on.”
He was greatly unsettled by the way he has been treated during the accusations saying: “The doctors have humiliated me. They judged me and condemned me before time… A public apology will not be enough.”
The parents of four other boys who were also born on the same day, brought their babies to be DNA tested after an order was issued by the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office, which had taken over the investigation.
Prosecutor General Luis Martinez said that the babies had been mixed up and that each would be returned to their rightful parents at a special court hearing.
DNA Test Removed Doubt for Cushworths
During the couple’s public appeal Mercedes explained how she felt only a DNA test would provide her with the answers to dispel her shadowing doubt. She said: “I thought, ‘how could I even think that this is not my child?’, but the thoughts were always on my mind, and finally I made the decision to [take] a DNA test because I didn’t want to have these thoughts hanging over me.”
Both of the Cushworths are very religious, with Richard being a self-confessed former heroin and cocaine addict who credits Christianity for being clean.
He has spoken of his 20 year drug habit, starting with Cannabis, then moving on to the harder drugs. He credits a year of faith-based support was what cured him.
He then went to the Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, where he met Mercedes Casanellas – before returning to El Salvador where he appealed for help to set up a facility based on the rehabilitation he had previously undertaken.
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