Girl In Baby Swap Case Meets Biological Parents and Siblings
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) _ Kimberly Mays, an 11-year-old at the center of a two-year baby-swap controversy, has finally met the couple who proved she was switched with another baby in a maternity ward, according to a report published Saturday.
But a relative says the girl is still confused by the legal tug-of-war and all the attention from a family she never knew.
Meanwhile, the man who raised the girl has joined the girl’s natural parents in a lawsuit against the hospital where the switch apparently occurred.
The long-awaited meeting between the Sarasota girl and her biological parents, Ernest and Regina Twigg, took place quietly this spring at a miniature golf course in Sarasota, the St. Petersburg Times reported Saturday.
The couple and Robert Mays, who raised Kimberly as his only daughter, agreed to keep the visit secret to avoid the crush of reporters and photographers who have followed the high-profile case through the courts.
During an initial rendezvous and two subsequent meetings, Kimberly, an only child in the Mays family, also was introduced to her seven brothers and sisters in the Twigg family.
″Apparently, with the kids it went very good. But when you ask about the parents, she just puts her hands up in the air and shakes them,″ said Velma Coker, one of Kimberly’s grandmothers.
″She’s still mixed-up,″ Mrs. Coker told the newspaper.
Kimberly, born at a tiny rural hospital in Central Florida, went home with the wrong parents - Mays and his wife, Barbara, who died of cancer in 1981.
Ms. Mays and Ms. Twigg delivered blond-haired girls within a couple days of each other in late 1978 at Hardee Memorial Hospital in Wauchula. The Mays baby and the Twigg baby were the only two white girls born around the same time at the hospital. Both mothers went home on Dec. 5, 1978.
It wasn’t until genetic tests a decade later that the families learned they had raised each other’s daughter.
The girl the Twiggs named Arlena and raised as their own died of a heart defect two years ago, never knowing that doubts about her parentage had been raised shortly before she died.
The Twiggs set out to find their natural daughter. The path led to Sarasota. Mays and the Twiggs feuded in court over genetic testing and custody rights. Mays won a promise from the Twiggs that they wouldn’t seek custody no matter what the tests showed.
Genetic testing confirmed last fall that Kimberly was born to the Twiggs, who now live in Sebring.
Attempts to reach Mays and the Twiggs for comment were unsuccessful Saturday; each family has an unlisted number.