Two women who learned from an Ancestry.com DNA test that they were switched at birth in 1964 are suing an Oklahoma hospital for the damaging mixup.
Tina Ennis and Jill Lopez, now 57, were both born at Duncan Physicians and Surgeons Hospital, on May 18, 1964 — but somehow, they claim, each was handed off to the other’s biological parents.
According to the Daily Beast, the two women and their families went 55 years without knowing the truth, until Ennis sent her DNA off to Ancestry.com and got some confusing results.
With some help from her daughter and a bit of internet sleuthing, Ennis tracked down Lopez, who took her own DNA test and confirmed that she is the actual biological daughter of Ennis’ mother, Kathryn Jones.
Now Ennis, Lopez, and Jones are suing Duncan Regional Hospital (which merged with Duncan Physicians and Surgeons Hospital in 1975) for recklessness and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Two women who learned from an Ancestry.com DNA test that they were switched at birth in 1964 are suing an Oklahoma hospital for the damaging mixup (Tina Ennis pictured left, Jill Lopez pictured right)
The families had been none the wiser about the mixup until recently, and they are all struggling with the revelation.
Ennis, who works as a postal service carrier, said that she noticed that she was taller and thinner than her mother and two siblings, but Jones insisted she looked just like the man they believed was her biological dad, who had left when she was two.
Jones’ father had also left when she was a child, and in 2019, Ennis took a DNA test to try to learn more about her grandfather.
But she was confused when the results came back, and her list of DNA relatives had names she didn’t know — including Brister.
Jones didn’t know the names either, so Ennis got her to take a DNA test as well.
When those results came back, they showed that the mother and daughter were not related to each other.
Assuming there was a mistake, Ennis called customer service — who told her, ‘You know, you find out some interesting things on Ancestry.’
Ennis’ 26-year-old daughter floated the idea that she was switched at birth and began digging online.
When she managed to find a woman nearby who was born on the same day — and, remarkably, looked a lot like Jones — Ennis sent her a message.
That woman, Lopez, took her own DNA test, which showed that Jones was her mother.
Tina Ennis (back left) got confusing Ancestry.com results, and after her mother, Kathryn Jones (bottom left) took her own test, they learned they were not biologically related
They discovered Jill Lopez (left), who was born the same day as Ennis. They realized right away she bore a striking resemblance to Jones (right). Lopez took a test that confirmed Jones is her biological mother
‘My heart just sank [in that moment] because I was just like, “This is for real,”‘ Ennis said.
Jones didn’t want to believe it at first, but when she saw a photo of Lopez, who works selling real estate, she initially thought it was an old photo of herself.
‘Because she actually looked just like me,’ Jones said. ‘And it devastated me.’
Jones said one of the worst parts of the discovery was realizing that her grandchildren were not biologically hers, either.
‘It was like somebody had ripped out a part of my heart,’ Jones said. ‘I just couldn’t deal with it.’
Since then, Lopez has spent time with her biological mother, Jones. But Ennis has not been able to do the same, as her biological parents, Joyce and John Brister, have both passed away.
‘Jill got to be with my real parents, and now she gets to be with my parents I grew up with,’ Ennis lamented. ‘I didn’t know what to think about it at first, but the more I think about it, it makes me really sad.’
Together, Ennis, Lopez, and Jones have filed suit against Duncan Regional Hospital.
The hospital is fighting back, claiming that though it merged with the hospital where the two women were born, it is not the same one and is therefore not responsible.