Best Movies About Babies Switched at Birth, Ranked
BY MICAELA PÉREZ VITALE
December 20, 2022
Here’s an overview of eight films that explore one of the most common fears of expecting parents: Babies Switched At Birth
Over the years, movies have depicted many situations that, as unrealistic or uncommon as they may be, instill fear in the audience. All of us have memories of a horror movie we watched as children that kept us awake at night or the crippling fear that there might be a terrifying monster hiding in our closet or under our bed. Of course, as we grow older, our fears gradually morph, and while many of them may still arise from things we see in movies and series, they are actually rational fears that could very well happen in real life. After all, fiction and reality are constantly nurturing one another.
However, when it comes to fears, there is a very specific one, mainly felt by expectant parents: the possibility of having their baby switched by mistake at the hospital. It might seem overly specific and uncommon, but there have been several cases of this happening over the years, as outlined by the Washington Post, which was enough to make it one of the parent’s greatest fears and a source of inspiration for movies and TV. While hospitals are now taking extreme measures to prevent this from happening, the fear remains: most newborn babies do not yet have any distinctive features, and when a facility is dealing with multiple babies simultaneously, this can cause awful mix-ups. Besides, it may take years for a family to find out whether there was an error at the hospital, which is truly devastating. Check out the best movies about babies switched at birth.
7/7 He’s Not Your Son
He’s Not Your Son is a 1984 TV movie starring Donna Mills, Ken Howard, Ann Dusenberry, and John James. This production, directed by Don Taylor, follows married couples Kathy and Michael Saunders and Holly and Ted Barnes, who have one thing in common: they both had their babies on the same day at the same hospital. Unfortunately, as time passes, these families have to deal with the possibility of a mistake made by the facility, giving each couple the wrong baby, something that threatens to ruin everyone’s future.
6/7 Someone Else’s Child
Someone Else’s Child is also a TV movie, but one that is based on a true story. With Lisa Hartman starring under John Power’s direction, this 1994 production follows Corey, a woman who finds out that her son was switched at birth a decade after the event. Faced with this heartbreaking scenario, Corey decides to keep the child she raised, while also searching for her biological son, not knowing that she would have to go through a lengthy and twisted journey to do so.
5/7 Big Business
Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin star in Big Business, a film directed by Jim Abrahams that was modestly successful and earned Tomlin an American Comedy Award nomination and Midler an award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture. This 1988 film features two married couples from very different backgrounds who give birth to their daughters on the same day, at the same hospital. That’s not all, though: both couples have twin girls, and these girls are mixed up by the nurses, so when each couple leaves the hospital, they get one girl who is their own and one who is not. 40 years later, destiny has it that these pairs of twins meet again in a stunning New York City hotel, triggering some hilarious situations and shaping these four women’s futures forever.
4/7 Le Fils de l’Autre
Le Fils de l’Autre (The Other Son) is a French film that not only explores the theme of babies switched at birth, but also reflects on the issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This production by Lorraine Lévy features Joseph, a young man who, just before joining the Israeli Defense Forces, finds out that he was switched as a baby with Yacine, a newborn of Palestinian origin, in the midst of a bombing attack at the hospital. This shocking news invites both families to challenge and re-evaluate everything they believed so far.
3/7 Like Father, Like Son
Like Father, Like Son is a Japanese film that, upon its release, earned rave reviews and became a major box-office hit. Written and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, this 2013 production features Ryota, a very successful architect who tends to prioritize his work over his wife and six-year-old son. One day, he gets a phone call from the hospital where his son was born and is informed that the child was actually switched at birth. Having reunited with the other family and meeting his biological son, Ryota and his wife must decide whether to keep the child with whom they already have a strong bond, or exchange him for their genetic son in order to maintain the family lineage, learning a number of valuable lessons along the way.
2/7 Destinos Interrumpidos
What’s interesting about Destinos Interrumpidos (Interrupted Destinies) is that it delves into a true story in Cartagena, Colombia. This documentary by Danny Holguin and Juan Carlos Echeverria recounts the journey of two young men who, at the age of 26, discover that they were switched at birth, ending up in families with very different economic situations but living near each other. The production, narrated by the protagonists themselves, traces each one’s life path and the difficulties they experienced when faced with this news. It also touches on the legal conflicts against the hospital that made this serious mistake.
1/7 Madres Paralelas
Madres Paralelas (Parallel Mothers) is the latest film by Pedro Almodóvar, where he also served as writer and producer. This Spanish production premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in 2021 and was highly acclaimed. Starring Penélope Cruz (Almodóvar’s frequent collaborator) and Milena Smith, Madres Paralelas features Janis and Ana, two women about to give birth, who happen to meet at the hospital. They both have very different stories: while Janis is a grown woman with an established career, Ana is a teenager frightened by her future. Their current situation creates a special bond between them that gets complicated a few months later when Janis finds out that the hospital had switched their babies and that her biological daughter passed away. Rounding out this production’s cast are Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, and Rossy de Palma.