Finding out your newborn has been switched at birth is usually something we only see in movies or TV shows. A 1999 Lifetime film, “Mistaken Identity” and ABC series, “Switched At Birth,” chronicle similar plots where two babies were mistakenly switched at their hospitals.
In real life, however, reports from parents from both the U.S. and other countries, have revealed nightmarish incidents where a similar situation occurred at hospitals. Certain hospitals have taken drastic measures to prevent such situations like giving the mother and baby matching sensor tags. But a hospital in Russia in the 1970s didn’t have such medical advancements and every parent’s worst nightmare happened…
Republic Of Moldova
Tania grew up in the Republic of Moldova, a small country between Romania and Ukraine. Born on March 27, 1978, into a normal family, Tania’s parents often heard whispers about their daughter in the community.
No Resemblance To Her Own Parents
Strange comments would be uttered in the village insinuating how different Tania looked from her parents and her siblings. They dismissed the gossip about their daughter, thinking it was village chatter and continued on with their lives…
Moving To The U.S.
In 1999, when Tania was 21, she emigrated to the United States with her siblings, Anatoliy and Victoria. There, she found love, got married and started a family of her own. Yet, still, Tania often felt an aching in her heart like something was wrong, although she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
The Chatter Still Plagued The Community
Being completely unaware of the chatter that went on when she was young, Tania receiving a call one day from her mother-in-law. She happened to be from the same community in Moldova as Tania and she said, “Tania, you know what I hear about you…you got switched at birth.” After that phone call, Tania called her father to ask him if he’s ever heard this before…
After telling his daughter, even though he didn’t want to believe it, Tania’s father finally began searching for the truth. He eventually tracked down the names of another family in Moldova who gave birth to a baby girl on the same day as Tania and at the same hospital.
The Search For The Truth
Then, in August 2017, Tania located a woman on Facebook who fit the profile and also happened to be born on March 27, 1987. Her name was Valentina Suman and Tania messaged her immediately…
When Tania presented Valentina with her hypothesis of what she believed happened to them when they were born, Valentina thought she was being toyed with. She told Tania that it is not true and said, “You’re playing me.”
Demanding They Meet
She demanded that they meet in person to discuss it, but Tania couldn’t afford a flight back to Russia. She was in the midst of rebuilding her home after a tragic house fire and her husband had been out of work for months after receiving emergency heart surgery. But, that’s when Valentina got an idea…
Russian Reality Show
While living in Russia, Valentina was familiar with a popular TV show that focuses on reuniting lost families. The show, called Primoi efir with Andrey Malahov, picked up their case and provided DNA for the women.
DNA Test Results
After conducting the test, the women flew out to Moscow for the results in September 2017. With the test resulting in 99.9999% accuracy, it was confirmed that Tania’s actual parents were Alexandra and George Suman, and conversely, Tania’s parents were Valentina’s actual parents, Nikolay and Vera Lashtur. It was all pretty confusing for the women…
A Lifetime Of Questions
They had grown up with parents that they thought were their own, only to discover nearly 40 years later, that it was all a lie. Rewind back to the girls’ childhood, and one neighbor who was good friends with both families, distinctly remembers the day Tatyanna, now known as Tania, was born.
Issues After Birth
She remembers that both of the girls’ mothers had issues with their babies as they refused to eat and cried a lot. This is not to mention their strikingly different appearances from their own children. Apparently, the search within the small community in Russia had been going on forever, but no one knew where Tania or Valentina were…
Dispelling The Rumors
When Tania was a child, her brother, Anatoliy Lashtur, recalls hearing the rumors in Russia, but once he moved to the United States, the rumors died down. Still, every time he visited Russia since 1999, he would try to search for the truth.
The Age Of Social Media
It wasn’t until Tania, and Anatoliy’s sister, Victoria, located Valentina on Facebook that they learned the rumors were true. Shockingly, Anatoliy was the last to find out about the discovery of Valentina. He shares how he learned the news…
Learning The Truth
“My mom asked me to come over. I knew she hadn’t slept for days…She opened a laptop with two baby photos and pointed at one, asking me to tell her who it was…I told her it was Victoria, my younger sister…It looked just like her,” he said. But, it turns out it was a photo that Valentina had sent of herself when she was a baby.
Finally Learning The Truth
When Anatoliy saw the picture, he knew in his heart it was his sister. That’s when Valentina contacted the Russian TV shows that handles investigations with DNA testing. The entire Lashtur family was flown to Russia to find out the truth…
Unaware Of Being Switched At Birth
Prior to her contact with Tania, Valentina had no idea that she may have been switched at birth. This was despite being told throughout her life that she didn’t share any similarities with her family. But on October 4, 2017, the results were confirmed that the women were switched at birth.
Gaining Additional Family Members
Anatoliy recalls having chills the moment the results were revealed. Still, he reassured Tania that she was his sister and that no DNA test would change that for him. He told Tania, “The only difference is we gain a sister and you gain like three sisters and more brothers. But, elation soon turned to sadness when Tania was set to be reunited with her biological family…
The Suman Family
After DNA confirmed that Alexandra and George Suman were Tania’s actual parents, they all felt an instant connection. But, after learning her biological father was critically ill, Tania was flown to meet him, but he passed away while she was on the plane. She never got to meet her real father and then she learned her mother’s health was also poor.
Her mother, Alexandra, fell ill after being hit by a drunk driver, and had no health care or money to afford the right medicine. It’s hard for Tania to look after her being that she lives in the United States, so she’s been picked up extra jobs in an effort to bring her mother to America so she could care for her. She set up a GoFundMe account to help cover her mother’s medical expenses.