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Girls Switched At Birth Are Happy Where They Are

3 posts in this topic

It was a story that captivated the nation in 1995 — two babies accidentally switched at birth, then, after three years, forced by a
judge's decision to stay with the families that had been raising them. Today
those famous babies, Callie Johnson and Rebecca Chittum, are
18-year-old young women, and each says she is happy to have remained with the
caregivers she knew.

More on Shine: Argentine Babies Switched at Birth: Could It
Happen Here?

“I would not
go back and change it,” Chittum, living in Virginia, tells the Daily Mail. “I am very
happy I was switched at birth because I love the family I am with and if that
didn’t happen then I wouldn’t know them.”

Similarly, Johnson tells WTVR in Virginia (where she also
lives) in a recent interview that she adores the mom who raised her. “She’s my
best friend. She always has been,” she says. “And I can honestly say that.”

It’s not all that surprising, according to psychologists familiar with the case.
“I think what this highlights is how much attachment really matters,” Dr. Nadine Kaslow,
president elect of the American Psychological Association and
professor of psychiatry at Emory University, tells Yahoo Shine.

Additionally, notes Nancy Segal, author of “Someone Else’s Twin: The
True Story of Babies Switched at Birth
” and professor of psychology at California State University,
, “Both girls had very loving families and that is the most
important thing. They felt loved and wanted. Had the families been rejecting
and/or focused on the daughter they lost, then their situations might have been



The story was big news in 1995. Photo: People Weekly The
mix-up at University of Virginia Medical Center kicked off what was to become an
incredibly complicated, painful and drawn-out drama for everyone involved. It
began with parents Paula Johnson and Carlton Conley, who
had brought home baby Callie from the hospital three years
earlier. They had a rocky relationship, and at one point Conley demanded a
paternity test; the outcome shocked them both, as it revealed that neither was
Callie’s biological parent.

The hospital helped figure out that Callie had been
accidentally switched with another baby, Rebecca Chittum, who had gone home with Callie’s
biological parents, Whitney Rogers and Kevin Chittum.
However, in a tragic twist, Rogers and Chittum were killed in a car accident
just a day after the discovery, leaving baby Rebecca in the care of her
grandparents and her aunt, Pam Miskovsky.

Initially, the two families worked well together toward a
solution, sticking to frequent visitations, though their alliance eventually
broke down, with a bitter custody battle after Paula petitioned to keep both
Rebecca, her biological daughter, and Callie, the child she already loved. A
judge ruled that everyone would stay right where they were, with continuing
visitations. Paula sued the hospital for $31 million but eventually settled for
$1.25 million.

To this day, the
judge's decision has remained difficult for Paula to deal with, she tells WTVR.
“I’m angry because I don’t have a relationship with my biological child. I’m
angry at the hospital because the only thing I ever asked was [for] them to
apologize,” she says. “I’m angry that Kevin and Whitney aren’t here to see what
a beautiful child [Callie] is and how much she’s grown.” She adds, “I’ve always
taught her from day one they are her parents, you know. She was born in
Whitney’s belly and she was born in my heart.”

2e85abf9-f03f-4c2e-ae5b-96bebe5b7e66_cal(L-R) Callie and Paula Johnson. Photo:

But even now, a legal adult,
Rebecca says she intends to stay by her aunt’s side. On her Facebook page, along
with a photo of the two of them, she writes, “I love my mom to death. You
eventually find out that it’s the people who love and who take care of you, not
necessarily the ones who give birth to you. Love you mom.”

In an odd twist, Rebecca wound up
being raised by her biological father, too, as he fell in love with Miskovsky
during frequent visitations with the kids. The two wound up marrying and having
three more children.

“The big
question everyone always asks me is ‘Would you prefer your parents still be
alive or passed?” Callie says today. “I don’t know what I’m missing so in a
sense, I do feel more sorry for Rebecca, because she doesn’t know her biological

In any event, such
stories, however rare, continue to mesmerize — including the recent report of
two Argentine babies switched at birth and switched back,
three weeks later, after a chance encounter between the moms. “Most people would
find it shocking to learn suddenly that they were part of a family that was
unrelated, due to a mistake at the hospital,” Segal notes. “Watching the story
of these two girls lets us imagine our own circumstances in the safety of
knowing we are with our biological kin.”

For the children on these mix ups... thats a very hard decision to make... although I think that since they have come to love the "mother" that they thought was their "mother" that aides in their decision.  The biological mom is a stranger... I always thought this was a messed ordeal... so many things to consider... the bottom line is that you dont really know your real family in terms of blood related.. and maybe somewhere down the line... it may have been critical if you did... whats your view on this issue?



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I read this news. I have seen a the switch at birth show but to know that these things really happened is scary.

Sent from my iPhone

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Hard to blieve that a switch at birth can happen, don't they place wrist bands after they clean him up before they take him away to another room?...well at least there is a happy ending here   :training:

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