India parents 'reject newborn girl for baby boy'

Map of India, showing the location of the city of Jodhpur

A newborn Indian girl has been left unwanted as her presumed parents seek custody of a baby boy handed to them by mistake, officials say.

The two babies were born on the same night in a hospital in the western Indian city of Jodhpur a week ago.

The couple refused to accept the girl after accidentally being given the boy, who belongs to another couple, the hospital says.

Indian society has a long history of discrimination against girls.

The pair, Poonam Kanwar and her husband, Chain Singh, have rejected the findings of a blood test suggesting that the girl is theirs, officials at the Umaid Hospital said.

Instead, they are fighting a couple identified by the hospital as the male baby's parents for custody of the boy.

They have insisted that a DNA test be carried out to establish the truth.

The baby girl is currently being cared for in the hospital nursery while the outcome is decided.

Officials say Ms Kanwar has offered to breastfeed the girl, but will not be allowed to do so unless she gives an undertaking to accept the baby is hers, according to Indian media reports.

Parents in India tend to prefer baby boys to girls for economic reasons.

Despite strong laws, female foeticide and sex determination tests are still fairly widespread, the BBC's Sanjoy Majumder reports from Delhi.

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