Switched at Birth (1991)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Drama  |  28 April 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 565 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 1 critic

This is the story of the two babies who were switched at birth. A few years later when one of the girls gets sick and tests revealed that she was not the daughter of the couple who raised ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Regina Twigg
Robert Mays
Ernest Twigg
Barbara Mays
Lois Morehead
Kimberly Mays, Age 9-11
Arlena Twigg, Age 9-11
Ted Marx
Frank Hill
Vivian Bonnell ...
Nurse Ford
Ruth Mays


This is the story of the two babies who were switched at birth. A few years later when one of the girls gets sick and tests revealed that she was not the daughter of the couple who raised her. Eventually she dies. And the couple most especially the mother, search for their real daughter. Eventually they suspect that it's a widower who has their child. Now while they try to find out if she is their daughter, the widower is advised by his attorney not to be so hasty to cooperate, cause if she is their daughter, he might lose her, and she is all he has. Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 April 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cambiadas al nacer  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


King Moody's final TV project. See more »


References Little House on the Prairie (1974) See more »


Great Big Bunches Of Lovin'
Words & Music written by Regina Twigg
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User Reviews

A film of how selfishness can ruin a child's life
11 October 2006 | by (Dundee, Scotland) – See all my reviews

'Switched at Birth' is a two-part series based on the case of Kimberly Mays and Arlena Twigg who were accidentally switched shortly after their births in 1978. Both the Mays and Twigg families carry on unaware of this until Arlena falls ill with cardiac problems and blood tests reveal she cannot be the biological child of her parents Ernest and Regina Twigg. When Arlena succumbs to her condition at the age of nine, the Twiggs' then embark on a search to find their real daughter leading them to Kimberly who is living with her widower father Bob. As the custody battle begins, Kimberly finds herself caught between two families and Bob faces the possibility of losing the child he loves and cherishes as his own.

The adult leads all portrayed their roles well, fleshing out their characters, with Ariana Richards (better known as Lex in 'Jurassic Park') giving a touching performance as the bewildered and vulnerable Kimberly. She had a nice father/daughter rapport with Brian Kerwin, only enhancing the idea of how the young Kimberly never knew anyone other than Bob as her father.

In many ways, this is a very tragic film about how the selfishness of the Twigg family eventually shattered two families and ripped a young girl's life apart. Motivated only by their own needs to know their biological daughter to replace the child they had just lost, they paid no heed to the fact Kimberly was just a little girl who wasn't ready to deal with the emotional ramifications of the truth around her birth. Instead, they barged into her life, forcing Bob Mays into endless court battles as they pursued full custody of Kimberly and creating a media frenzy around the story.

Unlike the fictional film 'The Face on the Milk Carton', where the biological family let go when they see the trauma they are putting their child through, 'Switched at Birth' shows the results of what happens when selfish parents put a confused young girl through a custody battle. It does leave the audience considering how things could have gone much smoother if the Twiggs had only sought visitation rights or stayed away until Kimberly was older and more able to deal with things. It also leaves one wondering if Bob would have been so wrong to have ran off with his daughter until she was eighteen. Having read how Kimberly is now leading a destitute, unstable life, barely able to keep a roof over her head and maintain a job, this film goes a long way to explaining the contributing factors to her life as an adult today.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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