The Protector of Citizens determined that for five years the City Social Welfare Center has been taking care of a child born with grave health concerns and left in the hospital immediately after birth by the parents who challenged DNA analysis results, which was why the Institution had launched the investigation to control work regularity and legality of the competent authorities.
In late March 2021, after learning from the media about a suspicion that one family had their baby replaced in Belgrade maternity hospital in 2016, the Protector of Citizens initiated own-initiative investigation to control work regularity and legality of GAK Narodni Front in Belgrade, Institute of Forensic Medicine of the Medical Faculty in Belgrade, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia.
The documents that the competent bodies submitted to the Protector of Citizens indicate, inter alia, that the child was born with severe health concerns in June 2016 and that the parents, due to the different number of mother and baby health surveillance protocols, requested a DNA analysis. Narodni Front Hospital informed the Protector of Citizens that the protocol of mother's delivery and the protocol of the newborn were specific numbers kept in the health institution and that they did not have the same numbers.
DNA analysis performed by the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the Medical Faculty in Belgrade was delivered to parents with technical errors deepening their suspicions of parenthood. According to the competent authorities’ report, the wrong time of the child's birth and different father’s name that remained on the DNA analysis record next to the name of the child’s father were corrected on the same day and a formal note was drafted about it and sent to GAK Narodni Front.
Considering the dispute over the results of the corrected DNA analysis of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, the mother was discharged from the maternity hospital and left the baby at the Department of Neonatology of the GAK Narodni Front, which the social workers at the clinic were immediately informed about. The mother stated in GAK Narodni Front 15 days later that she wanted the child to be referred to Social Welfare Center accommodation.
The baby has been placed in the Department of Neonatology for 56 days, after which the City Social Welfare Center took over the care of the baby and appointed a temporary guardian via a decision. According to the documentation submitted to the Protector of Citizens, the parents have been completely deprived of parental rights.
Since the parents challenged the existing result of the DNA analysis of the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Belgrade, the DNA analysis was repeated at their request (DNA from the newborn and parents was taken at the premises of GAK Narodni Front by representatives of a private laboratory, in the presence of a lawyer) and it was identical to the result of DNA analysis of the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Belgrade.
Also, the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia submitted to the Protector of Citizens documentation showing that on 21 March 2021, in Zvezdara PS, the child’s father voiced doubts that their child had been replaced in the maternity hospital, and that three days later he expressed the same doubts to police officers in Savski Venac PS. Both formal notes were filed to the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Belgrade, and the Ministry of the Interior has stated that so far they have not received the request of this prosecutor's office to gather the necessary information.
Considering the actions of the controlled authorities within its competences, the Protector of Citizens ascertained that in the specific case there were no omissions that would lead to the violation of the rights of the child. When making the decision, the Protector of Citizens took into account that after disputing the original finding of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, the parents were permitted to repeat the DNA analysis and that based on the information of the competent authorities, all subsequent analyzes confirmed the original finding.