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RCMP investigating switched-at-birth cases in Manitoba

Manitoba's former aboriginal affairs minister Eric Robinson, centre, with Norway House residents Leon Swanson, left, and David Tait Jr. announces at a press conference in Winnipeg on Friday, August 26, 2016 that the two men were switched at birth in 1975 when their mothers gave birth at Norway House Indian Hospital. The RCMP says it is has started an investigation into two cases of babies who were switched at birth at a northern Manitoba hospital 41 years ago. The force says it has an obligation to the families and the public to see if the mix-ups were accidental or criminal.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
October 08, 2016 - 7:00 AM

NORWAY HOUSE, Man. - The RCMP says it has started an investigation into two cases of babies who were switched at birth at a northern Manitoba hospital more than 40 years ago.

"The RCMP has an obligation to the families involved and to the public to determine if the incidents at the Norway House Indian Hospital were accidental or criminal in nature," Mounties said in a news release Friday.

They said the investigation will be separate from a review the federal government has already announced.

Two men from Garden Hill First Nation revealed last year that DNA tests had proved they were switched at birth at the hospital in 1975.

Two other men from Norway House, born at the same hospital in the same year, came forward with the same story in August. DNA tests confirmed their story last month.

Tests show Leon Swanson is the biological son of the woman who raised David Tait Jr., while Tait is the son of the woman who raised Swanson.

Tests last November showed Luke Monias and Norman Barkman of nearby Garden Hill also went home from the hospital with each other's families in 1975.

The two cases have raised the question of whether other babies could have been switched at the hospital.

Shortly after Swanson and Tait held their news conference, Health Canada announced it would offer free DNA tests to anyone born at the hospital before 1980, when the facility started fitting newborns with identification bands.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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