Lydia Fairchild is the single mother who had to face hardships after being separated. Staying a single parent is no small job. It needs care, attention & real financial help. Lydia was raising two children with third one arriving soon. She decided to take some government help & applied for the same.
But something happened that a standard process got converted into a two-year court trial.
Lydia was denied government aid & her application got rejected due to DNA tests stating her kids to be someone else’s. Several questions were raised on the ownership of her kids. She was even doubted of fraudulent activities but her family was sure about her pregnancy & birth details.
But this case was no less than a mystery. Nobody knew whose kids these were if not Lydia’s.
SURPRISES OR SHOCKS
Lydia Fairchild & James Townsend were parents of two. It was in the midst of separation, when Lydia found out about her pregnancy. They both have been living in Washington until it was time to part ways. Lydia had her first child at the age of 21& second a year after they separated.
It was a lot to bear on the part of Lydia but she was willing to take the best care of her kids in the best way possible.
CARRYING A CHILD
The separation was going on when Lydia found out that she is carrying the child with her ex. It was not easy to suck up, after all supporting & taking care of a child required lots of efforts along with finances. She realized bringing three children together was a tough task in any way.
Life is a mixture of joys and sorrows altogether. Where on the one hand, Lydia was happy to give birth she was also deeply stressed by the fact that she was the only one to raise her children.
This was because Lydia wanted her children to get the best lives with all the necessities. To provide the same, she applied for government help. This process required all the documents along with the proofs.
Nobody knew the process would get so serious from there on.
THE INITIAL PROCESS
The application for child support began with few steps that were quite simple & reasonable.
First a written form was required to be filled. Proof that she is the parent of her children was required in the second step. A DNA test was conducted through which both parents and children had to go through. Both the parents agreed for the same. So what actually went wrong?
UNDERGOING THE TEST
The entire process of DNA Test was to ensure that the parents weren’t lying in order to get the finances.They took up the DNA test without any problem. Both the parents were sure that the kids were theirs. They submitted their DNA Test with their children’s application forms.
The after process was easy & didn’t require much time. But nobody had a clue that this process would become a headache for them.
AND THERE IS A PROBLEM
Who can think of a problem in DNA Matches when the parents are actually the parents? Well that is one problem that came up. Jamie Townsend’s report matched with his kids. The shocking part was the unmatching report of Lydia’s.
Lydia was then called for extra questioning after the test reports. It sure did freak her out but she had no choice other than to answer the prosecutor’s questions.
During the interview with the Prosecutor, Lydia explained that Jamie was the real father of the kids. To her dismay, she was informed by the prosecutor that it was her report that didn’t match at all with the kids.
WHO IS THE REAL MOTHER?
Lydia laughed aloud when the prosecutor claimed that she wasn’t the real mother of the kids. She came for the conversation because she was sure that nothing could go wrong. But now it was different. She could take the words of the prosecutor because all she knew was that she was the real mother to her children.
On being asked about the experience, she stated,” I could see the seriousness in their faces, I mean, they were just staring me down, like totally checking me out. And then they just started drilling [questions].”
THE SERIOUS QUESTIONING
The meeting turned into a strong interrogation. They soon started asking questions as to who was the real mother of the children, her sister or somebody else.
In fact, she even realized that she was being confronted of welfare fraudulence. She was being suspected of a crime, she didn’t commit. All she knew was that she was the legal & real mother. She just couldn’t understand the reason behind their accusations.
NO MATCH AT ALL
The trouble began when her DNA tests were completely unmatched. The government began the accusations of fraud to derive financial benefits.
After checking the DNA test results, there was no evidence that Lydia was the real mother.
She & her family was completely shocked. Her father stated,” I believe my daughter, at the same time, I also believe the law had something against her.”
TESTING TESTING TESTING
Lydia had to get out of the false accusations & she had no clue as to what to do. But one thing was for sure, she had to prove that she was innocent.
In order to do so, she & her children got re-tested three times at the prosecutor’s office. She stated in the documentary,” They took pictures of myself & my children, and they took swabs from us all.”
It was all done to rule out any mistakes done during the first test.
They thought it was an error but it was a lot more than that.
THE TEST RESULTS
Lydia was tearing apart with the accusations. What affected her more was that she had to put her family through this stressful procedure.
The tests were undergone so many times & it was the only choice at that time. Nothing else could be done other than getting tested.
We couldn’t do anything and the result was same over & over again. Later the investigation reached further & every family member was to be interrogated. It was Jamie’s turn to be questioned now.
INTERROGATION OF THE FATHER
The prosecutor continuously trying to figure out who was the real mother. The notion was that Jamie had children with either Lydia’s sister or some other women & both Jamie and Lydia were upto fraud. With no results matching, prosecutors felt something was definitely wrong.
Jamie’s reaction was in sync with Lydia’s. Both told the prosecutor the same thing. He stated,” How could that be?I [witnessed] the kids [being] born.” But the prosecutors still thought that he was lying.
THE PROFESSIONAL CALL
After the re-testings, Lydia & her family was completely clueless as to what should be done next. The government wasn’t believing them. It was then Dr. Leonard Dreisbach came into the picture. He was Lydia Fairchild’s obstetrician.
Like everyone else, he was also shocked but promised to provide help as and when needed. Dr. Dreisbach said in his interview,” I’ve been doing this long enough; I can recognize when someone is giving birth in front of you. And there’s not really much mistaking that.”
Finally, they got a piece of evidence. They acquired Lydia’s kids medical files made at the time of birth. It was made clear by Dr. Leonard Dreisbach, “The babies are foot printed at the time, and these cards are done right in the delivery room.”
But this wasn’t enough as per new technology for the prosecutors. They wanted real evidence.
THE LIE DETECTOR
After the continuous third interrogation, the prosecutors brought the concept of lie detector. She agreed for the same as she was telling the truth all this while. She had nothing to say other than the truth. Now summons to court trial were emailed to her.
She was already pregnant suffering from the mental stress of this shocking incident & still there was something more.
THE COURT SESSIONS
Lydia was being charged for being the fraud mother of the children. It was all going on to find out the real parents of the children. She poured her thoughts & experiences in her diary all this while.
In an interview, she was asked about the feelings she felt as she was almost gonna lose her children. To such questions, she replied, “ Yes, every day… every day I’d get up, get them ready, and take them to daycare. And every day it felt like this was gonna be the last day I see them.”
THE FIRST TRIAL
Lydia called every lawyer she could find in her phone book & there was not a single lawyer who was ready to take up the case. After all it was so confusing & hard to believe.
What else she could do other than panicking in such a situation. When the prosecutor claimed to keep the children in separate guardianship, she was devastated & didn’t know what to do next.
SOME HELP ARRIVED
Lydia was devastated after all these trials. The only thing she could do was call Jamie & tell him how she felt. It was after her third hearing that she got a lawyer ready to stand for her truth. She again had to go through the questions of the lawyer to give him a fair insight into the case.
LIFE TURNED STRESSFUL
The judge ordered her third child’s birth to be witnessed as he thought this might be a fair way of getting some science related answers. Lydia & New born baby must be tested for DNA at the time of birth.
As simple as it sounded, it was still an unpleasant experience for Lydia. She felt as if the most memorable moment of her life turned into a scene of investigation. She was really stressful at this wonderful time of her life. After the birth, it took two weeks for the lab to process results.
This time everyone was praying that the newborn’s DNA doesn’t match Lydia.
MOTHER LOVES HER CHILDREN MORE THAN ANYTHING
Who would have thought that after so much stress, Lydia was still willing to prove her innocence & prove that the children were hers. But a mother loves her children more than anything else in this world & Lydia too was a mother.
She went through another series of DNA tests where she gave samples of her hair, organs & skin. Unfortunately, the tests still did not match. It was even more stressful now but something happened that brought in a ray of hope. Her lawyer got to know of a similar case that could actually help.
Carol was Lydia’s mother & grandma of her children. She came forward and provided her DNA test so as to ensure that the kids were Lydia’s. Her test results matched & it was an indirect proof that children belonged to Lydia.
The things did not end here. The government still suspected her of acting as a paid surrogate mother & indulging into welfare fraud.
CASE OF KAREN KEEGAN
Karen Keegan was a woman who had a similar case history. During a kidney transplant her kids came forward to donate & went through standard procedures of DNA tests. The results showed that her DNA matched only with one of her three children.
Karen went through in depth interrogation just the way Lydia went through. Dr. Uhl of Beth Israel Hospital explained her state as, “In her blood, she was one person, but in other tissues, she had evidence of being a fusion of two individuals”
CASE OF CHIMERISM
Chimerism is a condition which Karen was suffering from. It is a condition in which an individual has two sets of DNA in the body. The condition is explained by the Psychology as, “a chimera from one male and one female twin can become a hermaphrodite; if twins are the same sex, the child might have patches of skin or eyes of different colors, but otherwise will probably appear normal.”
Chimerism is a rare condition with only 30 documented cases worldwide. The doctors stated that if Lydia was suffering from chimerism, her “twin” must be possibly hiding in her ovaries. In order to confirm the same, samples from different parts of her body were taken. This was because a cheek swab might seem like they are one person while cervical cells might make them seem like someone entirely different.
After getting this information, Fairchild agreed to go through another DNA Test.
THE FINAL RESULTS
People like Karen & Lydia had to go through disturbing test results. They were shocked at the betrayal of their own cells stating the false ownership of their children. Karen was lucky enough to know the answer behind this phenomena. She suffered from chimerism. It was a rare condition but she was the chosen one.
It was time for Lydia’s hearing & she got the results just in time. The connection between the kids & her was hidden in her cervical cells. It happens usually at the time of pregnancy before the mother gets to know about twins. The condition occurs as one of the twins is absorbed by the other. The cells of the absorbed twin exist in the mother’s body & a portion of the absorbed twin stays with the cells of the existing twin.
This is what exactly happened to Lydia. But would the government understand this?
THE TRUE MOTHER
Lydia was finally made free from all the accusations as she was recognized with chimerism. It was unbelievable for everyone. It all became clear because of Lydia’s lawyer, Alan Tindell & the doctors at Beth Israel Medical Centre.
Lydia was now the True Mother of her children who despite all the stress & accusations stayed with her children & kept fighting to prove her innocence. All she wanted was safety & security of her kids.
All this while, Jamie & Lydia had to work together to make sure of their parenting. They were on the same side & faced the same situations and stayed together. After the trial was over, Lydia could live her life happily once again. And now Jamie & Lydia both decided to give their relationship another chance. It felt like it was a family reunion. And soon it was time for Lydia’s fourth child!
WHAT IS CHIMERISM?
Chimerism is a rare phenomena in which an individual contains more than one DNA signature. The lives of chimeras are completely normal except they have different genotypes. As per Business Insider, “it’s becoming more common, as in-vitro fertilization increases the chance of twins, and therefore chimerism as well.”
WHAT’S THE ULTIMATE RESULT?
The women who suffered from chimera know how traumatic it is to go through something the world isn’t aware about. DNA testing is undoubtedly not the best way to determine the parent ship. With the onset of better scientific methods, a reliable method might evolve with time.