An Ancestry.com test kit said Tina Ennis wasn’t related to the family she knew.
More tests and online searching led her to discover she was swapped at birth, a lawsuit claims.
The families are suing the hospital for recklessness and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Two women born at the same Oklahoma City hospital 57 years ago say they were switched at birth, and they’re suing a hospital for the mixup they say has upended their lives, the Daily Beast reported.
The discovery resulted from a DNA test kit and some online searching by one of the women’s daughters.
It’s unclear how often babies are accidentally switched at birth, but the advent of DNA test kits has led more and more families to face uncomfortable truths about who they really are.
Tina Ennis’s presumed family tree began to unravel with an Ancestry.com test kit
Tina Ennis and her daughter used an Ancestry.com test kit in 2019 hoping to learn more about Ennis’s estranged maternal grandfather.
But the test didn’t connect the pair with anyone in their family, and instead said they had a lot of relatives with the last name Brister. Ennis’s mom, Kathryn Jones, had never heard of the Bristers.
When Jones took a test, it also found no connection to her daughter.
Ennis’s daughter then dug around online, finding a woman born the same day as Ennis. The woman, Jill Lopez, looked like Jones and had deceased parents with the last name Brister. When Jones saw Lopez’s photo, she said she was “devastated.”
“The first thing she thought was, ‘Where was I when that was taken?’ and ‘I don’t remember those clothes,’ because she actually looked just like me,” Jones told the Daily Beast.
Ennis then also took an Ancestry.com test, which linked Lopez to Jones. “My heart just sank,” Ennis told the Daily Beast, “because I was just like, ‘This is for real.'” Before then, Ennis said, “I never felt like I didn’t belong.”
The trio is suing a hospital for recklessness and emotional distress
Ennis, Jones, and Lopez are suing Duncan Regional Hospital, which took over liability for the hospital where Ennis and Lopez were born after it merged with other hospitals in 1975, their lawyers say. The lawsuit claims recklessness and negligent infliction of emotional distress, according to the Daily Beast.
The hospital has denied the allegations, saying it’s not the same place where the mixup allegedly occurred. A judge denied the hospital’s request to dismiss the suit on those grounds last month. The doctors involved in Ennis and Lopez’s delivery have since died.
“I just had to get my emotions straight for a while, because it’s a whole lot to get your mind around,” Lopez told the Daily Beast. “Like, you had a mom and I had a mom, and now I have a different mom.”
DNA test kits have led to hundreds of ‘fertility fraud’ lawsuits
In recent years, DNA test kits have led to hundreds of lawsuits, many of which involve mixups and misconduct with genetic materials among couples undergoing fertility treatments.
In 2019, a New York City couple sued Los Angeles-based CHA Fertility Center after they learned they had carried two other couples’ boys to term. In 2021, a LA couple sued their fertility clinic after an embryo mixup led them to get pregnant with another couple’s child while that couple got pregnant with and began raising theirs.
And earlier this month, a couple sued their fertility clinic when their 29-year-old daughter discovered she wasn’t genetically related to her dad after using a home DNA kit. The lawsuit alleges the hospital used another man’s sperm in the couple’s fertility treatment.
“So many other families have gone through the same kind of unimaginable circumstances and have been forced to put the pieces of their lives back together,” the daughter, Jessica Harvey Galloway, said in a press conference. “This has to stop.” [Insider]