Monday, April 16, 2012

Trading Places

I know I'm late joining the party, but I've always thought of this blog as my own as well as Jenn's.  So as life has gotten hectic for both of us, I decided to pitch in and give Jenn a break from writing. We're trading places this week.

I recently listened with fascination to an episode of the podcast This American Life. The show concerned two babies who were switched at birth.  Astoundingly, for over 40 years both children never suspected (or at least never voiced suspicions) that they could possibly have belonged to the other family.

One of the mothers, who was handed a baby that was a full two pounds lighter than the weight listed on her birth certificate, had immediate concerns. But complications after her delivery sent her back to the hospital and when she was released, her husband convinced her not to disgrace her doctor with such wild accusations.

Both families, the Miller's and the McDonald's, lived within a few miles of each other, were friendly with each other and at one point even attended the same church. The dark-haired brooding and intellectual Miller family never inquired about the curious fact that they were raising Marti, a blonde blue-eyed member of the cheerleading team. Conversely, the blonde-haired, outgoing and lighthearted McDonald family never questioned their odd brunette daughter Sue who was much more comfortable reading indoors as her siblings played outside.

Even more bizarrely, Sue began to question her origin more often as she grew older, but Marti never suspected that her parents were anything other than her own. 43 years later Sue received a letter from her mother confirming what she had long suspected. DNA testing later proved the hospital's error.

It is natural for adolescents, experiencing bewildering and rapid changes, to look at their parents and say "who are these people? I must have been switched at birth!".  However, other than as the plot of soap operas and Lifetime movies the incidence of children being switched at birth remains extremely low.

This American Life - Episode 360

Wikipedia - Switched at birth

Lifetime 'Someone Else's Child'

Soap opera - ABC's 'Switched At Birth'


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  1. Marlon,
    This whole thing about babies being swithched to the wrong parents could form the basis for a Graphic novel story.
    It's good it doesn/t happen much.
    I enjoyed reading this ...thanks. I used the anonymous becuase I don't get the other choices...Ed F.

  2. Pretty nice blog and snapshots,Thanks for providing such nice blog,I surfing here and there and enjoy your blog,please continue your blog and add new contain related to babies.
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