Two men who believe they were switched at birth nearly 80 years ago are suing a Roman Catholic diocese in West Virginia, alleging negligence and breach of duty by the hospital where they were born.
John William Carr III and Jackie Lee Spencer were both born on August 29th in 1942 at St. Joseph Hospital in Buckhannon. The lawsuit against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston says hospital staffers sent them home with the wrong families, reports The Dominion Post.
According to their lawsuit, the switch was discovered when DNA tests showed Carr and Spencer had no genetic matches with the families that had raised them. However, they did match the other’s family.
Carr, Spencer and their families have suffered a “lifetime of consequences” from the switch and are seeking unspecified damages, they say.
DNA testing tells the truth
Spencer had spent more than 50 years searching for the man listed on his birth certificate as his father, he says in the lawsuit. He had been told the man abandoned his mother prior to his birth. After finding relatives of the man, Spencer took a DNA test to see if he was related and discovered he was not. An additional DNA test also showed he wasn’t related to the people he had grown up thinking of as blood family.
The DNA tests showed that he was really related to Carr’s family. After further investigations, Spencer found that Carr had been born the same day at St. Joseph Hospital.
When the discovery was made, Spencer and his wife contacted Carr and urged him to also take a DNA test. This proved that he was related to the people Spencer had believed were his relatives.
Both men never got to know many of their family members.
“Many of the people Jack should have known his entire life are gone”, states the lawsuit. “He feels as though most of his family died all at once. He grieves for the loss of the life he was supposed to have, while reconciling those feeling with the love and gratitude he feels for the family he has known his whole life.”
Carr, who has blue eyes, said he looks different from the family that raised him and always felt out of place.
“Well, I never felt like I fit in here because my mother and dad had brown hair and brown eyes, and so do my brother and sister”, Carr said in the lawsuit.
AlphaBiolabs’ DNA maternity test is used to ascertain if there is a biological relationship between a child and a possible mother. It can provide the definitive answers a family needs in a number of different situations, including when there are concerns that baby switching has mistakenly occurred within a hospital.
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