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Swapped at Birth Girl Switches Parents


It’s a unique and bizarre story. The man who reared an American girl swapped at birth was granted custody of the 15-year-old but six months after the court ruling, the girl suddenly moved in with her biological parents, despite the fact that she had severed all ties with her real parents. A DNA test revealed that Kimberly May was in fact the baby of Ernest and Regina Twigg, but had been taken home by Robert and Barbara Mays by mistake.

DNA test revealed birth mix-up

The DNA test brought the mistake to light after the baby the Twigg family took home died of a heart defect in 1988. Medical tests showed that she did not share the same genes and a test was conclusive that she was not biologically related to the Twigg family.

Swapped at birth trauma

The Twiggs had since been seeking visitation rights to their child. But custody of Kimberley May was awarded to Mr May as the girl said she never wanted to see her biological parents again. The fact that after just six months of being granted custody, Kimberley moved in with the Twiggs then was certainly a bizarre twist. Her move was put down to ‘teenage issues’. The fact that a DNA test can reveal such life changing circumstances can cause huge upheaval for families. Thankfully, the number of babies swapped at birth is low.

Death instigated test

Mr May, whose first wife Barbara died in 1980, retained legal custody of the Florida teenager despite her decision to move in with the Twiggs. The test may never have confirmed that the babies had been swapped at birth if not for the tragic death of one of the children. And although there are many dedicated non-biological parents who do incredible jobs of raising adopted children, the test highlighted the importance of genetics. The fact that tests are continually evolving to help discover for example whether or not we carry genetic vulnerability to certain cancers demonstrates that who are biological parents are can have a huge impact on our future health.

Kimberley May’s actions around her two sets of parents were put down to those of a troubled teenager. But the DNA test that unveiled the story of the babies swapped at birth certainly turned into one of the more unusual child custody cases in the American courts.