In March of 2009, Brazilian women Queila Fagundes and Elaine Oliveira gave birth to baby boys in the same hospital in Goiania, Brazil. For more than a year, the mothers loved, nurtured and raised the babies they thought were their biological sons.
“We carried on with our lives but a year later the hospital called to say I needed to come in to do some tests,” Mrs. Oliveira said.
“When I got there they told me they were investigating an accidental swap of two babies in the hospital and that my baby could be one of them.
“I did the DNA test and was confident that it wasn’t my child that had been swapped,” she said.
“But when I got the result and saw that Davidson Samuel wasn’t my biological child, for me the world ended. I just couldn’t believe it.”
Mrs. Fagundes was left in a similar state of shock after she learned that her own son, Lucas Daniel, wasn’t biologically her own.
“They re-did the test four times and each time it came back with the same result, negative,” she revealed. “When I saw the results I was in shock, utter shock.”
The women were ordered to swap the babies back by a court last May.
But after nurturing who they thought to be their own babies for over a year, both women found swapping babies extremely difficult and depressing.
“It was the longest night of my life,” said Queila. “Everywhere I looked everything made me cry.
“I looked at Lucas Daniel’s photo, his first year album, his pram, a little sock that had been left in the corner, his bottle, his dummy - I thought, ‘God please bring me back my little boy’.
“After everything I went through, I lost the thing I loved the most. I gained a son but at the same time I lost one.”
The women appeared on television with their sons only a few weeks after the swap and told their story to the cameras.
Brazilian country music duo Joao Carreiro and Capataz saw the aired show, and were so touched by the story that they offered to buy the women houses within the vicinity of each other in the city of Nilopolis in Rio de Janeiro state. Now the toddlers will grow up as friends, bound by the unusual bond of having spent their first year living, with each others moms.
“It was an extraordinary thing because I didn’t have a car and Queila lived far away,” Elaine said.
“It was going to be so hard for us to be separated from these boys because it was like we’d both lost a son.
“But then Joao Carreiro and Capataz were so generous, they gave us a house next to each other in the same city so we could all live close together. It was just amazing.”
Now, the toddlers live within three streets of each other and spend most days as one big family.
“Now I know it was the right thing for the children to be brought up by their biological parents,” Mrs. Oliveira said.
“But at that time I had a strong tie to the baby I had brought up. That kind of love will never end.”
“I had always wanted twins and it was the same for Elaine” said Mrs. Queila.
“It turned out that God gave us twins. They just had two different mothers.”