baby switchedYou ever get that feeling like “the stork” really did drop your children (or child) off one night like Santa Clause dropping off gifts? The years go by and you start noticing little differences  –  hair is curly when no one in your family has ever had curly hair, skin maybe a shade lighter or darker, a personality trait just seems to jump outta nowhere,  eyes and nose may not match any of your immediate family members…perhaps you even start to joke around with everyone saying that “yes, my kid(s) is/are adopted…that was a basketball I was carrying around under my shirt for the last few months and that trip to the hospital was just to pull off the biggest prank ever! Haha, fooled you all!”

Well, what if you’re the one that was fooled? ABC Family premiered a television series called Switch At Birth back in 2011 and it became widely popular. Its’ third season will air in January 2014. Focusing on the different lives of the children switched at their local hospitals and the families they were given too, it brings up the whole “what if” scenario in all of us.

It makes you really start to wonder and all of a sudden your heart drops down to your stomach – could this have happened to us? Now-a-days with technology getting more sophisticated every hour it seems these instances are quickly diminishing. Foot printing ID is becoming more and more common and tagging is another (think of a security tag on expensive store items – it’s kind of like that), and I would venture to guess that there’s even an “app for that” now too (and if not) perhaps I’ll just have to roll one out and make my mini-fortune with the cell phone companies, but I digress.

Back in the in the early 2000’s (and of course earlier) these techniques were certainly not commonplace, so the chance for the old switcheroo was more probable. There’s even a wiki page for the number of possible children that are/have been switched every year…it is approx 600,000! Now you can start to understand why the TV series became so popular. Though it is not based on one singular true story or events – there are many that you can Google that do come close and probably merit their own show or perhaps even a movie like in the case of Kimberly Mays and Arlena Twigg. Another amazing and unfortunately sad story comes from 1995 – the Callie Johnson and Rebecca Chittum switch up. And as time and events unfold, I’m sure we will hear about others.

In the meantime, if you happen to be second guessing your family – there is an easy way to find out for sure – DNA testing. Technology has evolved enough now to provide families the opportunity for relatively cheap and easy testing. Using buccal swabs (like elongated Q-tips), you just swab your cheeks at home or schedule an appointment into a lab to collect microscopic skin cells that the labs then use to verify your DNA and match it up against someone else in your family. No blood draws, no lengthy waste of time filling out tons of paperwork, and fast results…just 3-5 days to find out.

It’s something that’s becoming more and more popular especially as more and more of these types of stories are becoming main-stream. If you are having any doubts, get your families DNA tested today.