It all started March 27, 1978, in a hospital in Moldova. Two baby girls, Valentina Suman and Tatyana Muradyan, were born that same day. Their mothers shared a hospital room, and when everything seemed to be in order, they both headed home with their newborns.
However, an eerie coincidence unknowingly connected the two families even after they left the hospital.
Both baby girls born that day suddenly started behaving erratically—crying constantly and refusing to eat. It was unusual, even for newborns. But neither mother thought much of it.
Years passed, and both children grew up in loving homes—but there was always something not quite right. Parents Vera and Nikolay Lashtur knew their daughter Tatyana didn’t quite look like them. And it wasn’t just in their heads; rumors had been spreading around the neighborhood that their daughter wasn’t really their daughter.
They always ignored the rumors and loved her like family no matter what. So did her brother, Anatoliy Lashtur, who never felt Tatyana was anything less than his sister.
But in 1999, the truth began to be unveiled.
The Lashturs were getting ready to move to the US from Moldova. Shortly before their departure, a neighbor approached them—and told them there was more to the old rumors than they thought.
“She knew us. She knew the other family and she knew that both kids were having problems after the hospital,” Anatoliy Lashtur told Inside Edition.
“As they grew up, I guess she could tell that the other kid looked a lot like our family and the kid that we had looked like their family.”
They were suddenly faced with the reality that the rumors may be true. Tatyana perhaps wasn’t their biological daughter, and their “real” daughter was out there somewhere with another family. They decided to try to track down this other family to know for sure.
However, the search would take longer than they thought. They were unable to find her in Moldova before leaving the country, and they could only continue looking on sporadic trips to their home country over the years.
But on one trip home, they finally got a lead.
The same neighbor woman who told them about the other family was able to give them the name of their supposed daughter: Valentina Suman.
From there, thanks to the wonders of social media, the search was very simple: Anatoliy, Tatyana and their younger sister Victoria entered the name on Facebook. They soon discovered there was a woman online with that name—who also seemed to be the same age as Tatyana.
Tatyana reached out to Suman. She quickly realized this was the woman she had been searching for—she was born on the exact same date as her in the same hospital. She asked Suman to send over baby pictures.
When she saw the photos, she knew the rumors had to be true.
To find out for sure, both families agreed to go on a Russian talk show that would conduct a DNA test.
“I remember we were anxiously and impatiently waiting for the DNA results to be read,” Anatoliy wrote. “As one lady stepped forward and read the DNA findings, we just cried realizing how many years have past, how many precious moments we have missed.”
The results were in—Valentina Suman was the Lashtur’s real biological daughter.
It’s suspected that Tatyana and Valentina were accidentally switched at the hospital when the nurses gave them a bath.
“How is it possible? How does that even happen?” Anatoliy told WTVD.
It was an unbelievable mix-up that took 39 years to correct—but the families didn’t wait to start making up for lost time.
“We went backstage and met the first time and we hugged and cried,” Anatoliy told Inside Edition. “It was one of those experiences that you know doesn’t happen a lot, and when it does, you’ll never forget it. Everybody was crying.”
Anatoliy has especially tried to make a connection with his biological sister. While Valentina lives in Moldoba and Anatoliy lives in North Carolina, the two speak on the phone twice a day. He set up a GoFundMe page to help his sister relocate to the US.
While it hasn’t been too late to form a strong family bond, Anatoliy still wonders what might’ve been.
“It was an honest mistake, although it was a painful mistake,” he told WTVD about the fateful switch at the hospital.
But while he’s reconnected with his biological sister, he’ll always have room in his life for Tatyana.
“I talked to her and I told her nothing changes between us,” he told Inside Edition. “The only difference is I gain a sister. We are brother and sister. We love her and nothing is ever going to change that.”
A remarkable family reunion, nearly 40 years in the making!