Release dateApril 28, 1991 (1991-04-28) CastEve Gordon (Darlena), Bonnie Bedelia (Regina Twigg), Brian Kerwin (Robert Mays), Alyson Hannigan (Gina Twigg, Age 13–16) Similar moviesAlyson Hannigan appears in Switched at Birth and Impure Thoughts
Switched at Birth is a 1991 American television film directed by Waris Hussein. It is based on the true story of Kimberly Mays and Arlena Twigg, babies switched soon after birth in a Florida hospital in 1978.
Within days of Arlena Twigg's birth in Florida in late 1978, she is found to have a chronic illness. Blood tests reveals that she is not the biological daughter of Regina and Ernest Twigg. Arlena is ill throughout her life and dies at the age of nine. Subsequently, her parents search for their biological daughter, who they find is being raised as Kimberly Mays by a man who believes that he is her father.
Bonnie Bedelia as Regina Twigg
Brian Kerwin as Robert "Bob" Mays
John M. Jackson as Ernest Twigg
Eve Gordon as Darlena
Jacqueline Scott as Ruth Mays
Judith Hoag as Barbara Mays
Caroline McWilliams as Lois Morehead
Lois Smith as Margaret Hill
Kelli Williams as Irisa
Ariana Richards as Kimberly Mays, Age 9-11
Erika Flores as Arlena Twigg, Age 9
Edward Asner as Ted Marx
Beth Grant as Sophie
Rance Howard as Frank Hill
Vivian Bonnell as Nurse Ford
Allison Mack as Normia Twigg
Kimberly Mays and Arlena Twigg were born within a few days of each other in a Wauchula, Florida, hospital in November 1978. Kimberly went home with Bob Mays and his wife, Barbara, who died of ovarian cancer when Kimberly was three. Ernest and Regina Twigg of Sebring, Florida, took home the Mays' biological daughter, whom they named Arlena. The Twiggs learned that Arlena had the wrong blood type to be their biological daughter when she was nine years old. Following Arlena's death from a heart condition, the Twiggs sought information about their biological daughter and located Kimberly Mays, who was later the subject of a custody battle between her biological parents and Bob Mays, the man who raised her after she was switched at birth. Bob Mays had agreed in 1989 to grant the Twiggs visitation rights to Kimberly, but he later cut off the visits. The Twiggs then sued for increased visitation or custody of Kimberly. A Wauchula circuit court ruled in 1993 that Kimberly would be allowed to cut off all contacts with her biological family and that Bob Mays was her psychological father. Though Kimberly won the right to stay with Bob Mays, she later ran away and moved in with the Twiggs.
In a 2015 interview with Barbara Walters for the documentary series American Scandals on Investigation Discovery, Kimberly discussed her troubled early adulthood, two divorces, six children, losing custody of her first born to her first husband, living in her car with one child, and working as a stripper to buy food for her children.
The court battle was also the subject of a book entitled The Baby Swap Conspiracy by Loretta Schwarz-Nobel.