Childhood Friends Discover They Were Switched at Birth

DNA test confirms decades of rumors and jokes
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2015 1:37 PM CST
Childhood Friends Discover They Were Switched at Birth

Two childhood friends made a startling discovery that has changed everything they thought they knew about themselves and their families: They were switched at birth. The CBC reports Luke Monias and Norman Barkman were born on the same June day in 1975 at the Norway House Indian Hospital in Manitoba. They were so close growing up they considered themselves brothers, reports the Toronto Star. But "persistent jokes, rumors, and suggestions" dogged them throughout the years. The CBC reports people would always point out how much more Monias and Barkman looked like each other's family than their own. But what was suspected for decades was finally confirmed by a DNA test Tuesday. "I didn’t believe it until I saw the paper," Monias tells the Star. "That’s when it hit me."

Now the two want answers and an apology from the Canadian government, which was operating the hospital when the mixup happened, the CBC reports. "The mental, physical, and spiritual well-being of both men has been deeply affected by the loss of their proper identity," a local official who has taken up Monias and Barkman's cause tells the Huffington Post Canada. The trio are worried the hospital may have done the same thing to other children, per the CBC. Canada's health minister says she's "very concerned" and has asked officials to look into it. But despite the major revelation, there's one thing that hasn't changed for Monias and Barkman. "He’s still my brother," Monias says. "No matter what." (This mom thought the hospital gave her the wrong baby. She was right.)

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