Delia and Begona are identical twins born January 18, 1973 in Spain’s Canary Islands and due to a tragic mistake by hospital staff, Delia was switched with an unrelated baby. The families involved never knew of the error until years later when two cases of mistaken identity led to a bit of detective work that revealed the startling truth. Instead of bringing about any sense of peace, the truth about the twin’s real identity threw both families into an uproar of confusion, a condition not improved upon by the lawsuits. As a twin herself, Segal is an expert on twin behavior and research. This case presented a rare opportunity to examine the psychology of twins raised apart, the heart of the nature vs. nurture argument. Additionally, Segal examined several other cases of twins switched at birth and explored the heart wrenching consequences of court mandated custody changes that only created further confusion and alienation.
This thought provoking, approachable and insightful book examines the many consequences of babies accidentally switched at birth and provides ample reasons for the absolute necessity of preventing such mix-ups in future. Clearly, there are no winners in such emotionally charged, complex situations yet thanks in part to Segal’s careful research, more has been learned about the psychology of childrearing. Health care professionals and anyone interested in child development will want to check out this absorbing read.
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