True Story of a Baby Switched at Birth -- Now That She's All Grown Up (VIDEO)

Heartbreaking 16

The story of Callie Johnson is just more proof that being a mom doesn't necessarily mean you had to have given birth. While Callie was tragically denied the chance to grow up with her own parents due to a horrible hospital mix-up of babies, she calls the mom who raised her her mother and her "best friend."

It all started in 1995 when two newborn girls were accidentally switched at birth. Callie Johnson and Rebecca Chittum were given to the wrong parents. This is just one of those nightmare scenarios that makes you want to give birth to your kid in a locked bedroom at home.

Tragically, Kevin and Whitney Chittum were killed on the same day the hospital discovered the mix-up in a car accident. Kevin and Whitney died without ever knowing the truth. Which is maybe for the best.

Paula Johnson, who was raising Callie on her own, now fought to keep Callie and also raise Rebecca. But a judge, on the advice of a child psychologist, eventually ruled that Rebecca should stay with the Chittum family and be raised by Kevin and Whitney's parents.

Visits between both families were arranged, but the girls soon tired of traveling long distances to visit families that each didn't really know.

The case became famous and it led to an overview of maternity ward safety procedures across the nation.

But what of Callie? How does she feel having been raised by a woman whom she was mistakenly given to? Speaking for the first time about the mix-up, Callie, now 18, says about Paula:

She’s my best friend. She always has been. And I can honestly say that ... I don’t know what I’m missing so in a sense, I do feel more sorry for Rebecca, because she doesn’t know her biological mom.

Paula says that she always told Callie what had happened, and that her real parents were dead. She told WTRV:

I’ve always taught her from day one they are her parents, you know. She was born in Whitney’s belly and she was born in my heart.

I think this speaks not only to the power of love, but of truth. The truth will set you free. Paula did not try to hide anything from her daughter, and for that she was rewarded with love and respect.

As for baby switching, it is so rare that only a handful of cases have been reported worldwide in 85 years.

Do you ever worry about something like this happening in your hospital?


Image via WTRV

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socal... socalmommy13

That's crazy! I'm glad it all turned out well :)

Crazy though

lovem... lovemyson1224

Tragic... at least it has as happy an ending something like this could have.

Lukas Herval

Interesting story Callie seems like a great girl. Read more about these girls here:

Kandis Harmon

Ok I want to know the judges reasoning for denying custody of a child to her biological mother on the basis of psycological damage. They were barely 3yrs old when this was discovered. Yes there would have been stress and confusion but you're taking away a child from her biological mother and basically punishing them both because of a mix up from the hospital. The girls were still plenty young enough to be able to adjust well to the switch. Plenty of children are adopted or taken by CPS at all ages, even 3 and many go on to be perfectly healthy and loving people. How is it different to return a child to their biological family?

Kandis Harmon

I'm also curious as to why Callie's biological grandparents didn't fight for her and instead fought to keep a child they knew wasn't their granddaughter. I understand loving a child and being attached but when you damned well that little girl isn't not yours and was given to your family by mistake then you do what's right and give her back to her rightful family. Its not like they discovered the girl's biological mom was a druggie and wanted to protect her. It's obvious this woman was a great mom so why wouldn't you give her daughter back and take your granddaughter home. If you're amicable about it then you can keep contact and almost became an extended family.


Susan Hawks

I personally knew Whitney...she was an excellent young lady and was a great mom.

3boys... 3boysANDaMOMMY

Something like this did happen to my five year old and me.see when he was born he had really dark brown hair and his skin was darker due to jondice (dk how to spell). One morning the nurse brought "my son" in to brest feed, only this was not my baby. It was another womans LITTLE GIRL! How in the world they mixed them up i have no idea and it bugs me to this day. That was one of the scariest mornings of my life.

Melissa Maynard Penrod

I saw this on television years ago. The mother and the grandparents were both on the show and at that time they said they had decided to leave the children in the familys that had been raising them. She said she would have fought for her biological daughter if she had felt they weren't doing a good job raising her,but since they were she felt it was best to leave her with the grand parents she knew and to keep the child she raised. 

Saman... SamanthaDhayes

I'm thinking this happens more than people think . I had my son in 08 and after i was moved from the delivery room into my regular room they brought me my baby boy, so I thought anyways. I leaned up to see my lil baby and my smile quickly vanished as I saw a fuzzy blonde headed baby and not my dark haired boy, I'm just glad my epidural wore off and was well aware of all my babies characteristics

themi... themissheather

Reason #476 to have a homebirth.

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