Charlotte hospital makes 'critical mistake' in gender identification, family says

A Charlotte woman said her baby girl was misidentified as a male by employees of Atrium Health back in October -- and she was the one who was supposed to pay for the records mistake.

"Even if it's a dollar, that shouldn't be on my behalf," mother Caleisha Steele said.

Steele gave birth to Sky Avonna Thrower on Oct. 10, 2018. The child had a number of preliminary records, such as a bracelet, correctly labeled "female."

Steele said it was later, when comments from a hospital worker caught her off guard, that she realized there was a critical mistake on the child's vital records.

"She said, 'Hey, you have an adorable little boy,' and I said, 'Boy? No, this is a female,"" Steele said.

Steele was shown official hospital records that labeled her daughter "male."

"Her birth certificate, Medicaid, all of that is male."

Mistakes happen, but this mother said she's the one who was having to pay for it.

She said the hospital forwarded her to NC Vital Records -- and they would not budge, insisting Steele pay nearly $100 for the records change.

"[The Supervisor] was like, 'No, no, no. I'm not doing that. We're not paying for it.'" Steele said. 

Steele said she went back-and-forth with Atrium Health and Vital Records -- each placing blame on the other.

FOX 46 reached out to NC Vital Records and was not given a response. We then reached out to Atrium Health and they agreed to reimburse Steele for the charge.

Atrium Health sent FOX 46 a statement.

Steele said she had complications during hur pregnancy and had to stay in the hospital for several days after birth. After looking back, she agreed that she signed a form that included a lot of information about her child -- and that form, filled out by hospital staff, had incorrectly labeled her child as a male.

Steele said she was not in the right mindset to sign the form.

"Be more careful and please make sure you re-read everything that you have given to someone because people are under medications," Steele said. "Maybe have a witness available when things are getting signed.

"Just imagine how many other people that this careless mistake has happened to."