Earlier this year, two 78-year-old men disclosed that a DNA test has proved that hospital staff switched them at birth. They are Jackie Lee Spencer and John William Carr, who share the same birth date and birthplace. Their lives started on August 29, 1942, in a hospital in West Virginia.
Questions answered by a DNA test
Without understanding why, John William Carr said he never felt at home among his family. One of the many questions in his mind was the color of his eyes. While both his parents, his sister and brother had brown hair and brown eyes, he has blue eyes. However, it would be many years before DNA would provide answers to his questions.
DNA test shows no biological link with the mother
In the case of Jackie Lee Spencer, his questions focused on the father he never knew. He learned at an early age that his biological father had abandoned his mother before his birth. He spent over 50 years searching for the man whom his birth certificate listed as his father. Then came the day when he tracked not his father, but relatives of the absent father.
To confirm his biological link to the newly-discovered family, Spencer turned to DNA technology. Sadly, the test results revealed no biological connection to that family. Most importantly, and even more upsetting, was the fact that the woman he knew as his mother was no relation of his.
The search continued
The shocked Spencer persevered. Essentially, the DNA test results only increased the urgency of his search for biological relatives. Coupled with the negative outcomes of the DNA tests, Spencer received information about the Carr family who proved to share a blood bond. While following that lead, he discovered that a member of that family was born on the same day in the same hospital as him.
Switched at birth
Spencer located John William Carr, and their meeting only led to more questions. Before long, they suspected that they were switched at or after birth. Another set of DNA tests followed, this time to confirm their suspicions, which is precisely what the latest test results did.
How did the switch affect their lives?
Both men say the switch affected them throughout their lives. The blue-eyed John William Carr still thinks back to the feeling of being an outsider and excluded from his brown-eyed parents and siblings. At their advanced age of almost 80 years, both men feel they were robbed of the opportunity to know most of their biological family members, many of which are no longer alive. However, they are grateful for the love they received from the families they grew up with.
Carr and Spencer filed a lawsuit, suing the Diocese of the Roman Catholic medical facility where they were given to the wrong mothers many years ago. They seek recovery of the suffering and lifetime consequences that followed.