India’s problematic and long-standing issue of discrimination against girls has lead to a legal mess in which the parents of an infant daughter are claiming she isn’t theirs. Instead, they say a boy born to another couple is actually their son.

The problems started when both babies were born last month at a hospital in the western city of Jodhpur and were accidentally switched. But when hospital staff tried to correct the mistake, the couple who’d had the girl refused to accept her, even though a preliminary blood test seems to show she is in fact their daughter.

They steadfastly maintain the boy is theirs, and have filed a police report while DNA testing takes place.

In Indian culture, girls are often viewed as cumbersome because marrying them off requires expensive dowries, while boys are considered breadwinners who look after their parents in old age. Although selective abortion of female fetuses has been banned in India for 15 years, the practice is still fairly common, and female infanticide cases are also reported every year.

[New York Daily News]