Kim Mays was switched at birth three decades ago in Florida. However, her life has been a series of difficult struggles since then.
Today, Mays is still trying to come to terms with the switch while not focusing on the past. She’s appearing on 20/20 on November 29, 2019. Kim Mays was famously switched at birth with another baby in 1978 at a Wauchula hospital in Florida. Arlena Twigg, the baby switched with her, died of heart disease. It was later revealed that Kimberly Mays was actually the daughter of Regina and Ernest Twigg, not the man who raised her after his wife died, Robert Mays. His wife was named Barbara, and she died of ovarian cancer.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Twiggs battled for custody of Kim for five years. They lost, but Kim ran away and moved in with them, but then she ran away from the Twiggs.
ABC asked Mays who she regards as her mother, the mother who gave birth to her or the mother she was given to. “I really don’t feel I have one,” she told the network in the November 2019 show.
“I try not to dwell on [the past]. I try not to have anger. I try to move forward the best I can,” Mays. Mays is now 40 years old.
Here’s what you need to know:
Today, Kim Mays Is the Mother of Six Children & Married
According to ABC News, Mays married and divorced her husband. They had a son, who is now an adult, and was raised “by her ex-husband and his family.” Online records show she’s still living in Florida.
“I was young. I didn’t know how to mother,” she said to 20/20. “I didn’t know how to take a crying child and I made mistakes in my life that I can’t undo. But I knew he was going to be cared for and loved, and that’s all I wanted for him.”
She has five more children and a new marriage today and hopes to go back to school to get her GED. She spoke to ABC about how it was also confusing when her mother died, her father remarried and then divorced, and her birth family tried to see her. The New York Daily News reported in 2015 that Kim Mays “has been homeless, worked as a stripper and divorced her parents.”
“I wish I had my life back. A normal life. It’s ruined. I don’t have a normal life,” she said in a previous interview, according to Daily News. Both families settled for millions of dollars, arguing the babies were intentionally switched. At one point, Kimberly, then 14, sued the Twiggs for divorce, prevailing in that quest.
According to ABC, she has a strained relationship today with both her birth mother Regina Twigg and Bob Mays’ wife, her stepmother, Darlena Mays. Bob Mays died in 2012. After Bob died, a court ordered that Kim should be considered Darlena’s daughter. In 1994, Kim had accused Bob Mays of sexually abusing her and then admitted making it up.
Bob Mays’ obituary says Robert Wayne Mays was born March 27, 1945, in Orlando, Florida and “passed away peacefully at his home on February 25, 2012.” He was born to “Robert and Ruth Mays and was the beloved husband of Darlena Mays. Bob will forever be remembered by his friends and family. He is survived by his wife Darlena, daughter Kimberly and grandchildren, his mother Ruth, brother Reed and nephews Tyler and Ryan,” the obit says. He was living in Alabama.
Mays has lived a troubled life. In 2000, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Kimberly Mays was reunited with her son “after a yearlong dispute with state child-protection workers.” Her husband at the time was named Jeremy Weeks. Kim Mays was then 21. Her son was only 2 and named Devin. “Devin was taken from his parents and put into state custody a year ago after calls to the state’s child abuse and neglect hotline,” the newspaper reported.
According to Daily News, in 2015, Mays, whose six kids are with four different fathers, was living in Clearwater, Florida, and staying out of the public eye, while working at a call center.
In 2015, Kim Mays told Barbara Walters that she became a stripper after spending her hospital settlement to “put a roof over my head and food in my stomach – and diapers on my daughter Jasmine.” She’s periodically hit the tabloid headlines too. In 2016, the National Enquirer claimed that Omartin Martinez, the father of some of her children, was accused of child molestation and received a 20 year prison sentence in 2011.
Regina Twigg, now divorced and trying to be a singer/songwriter, said to ABC: “I would say to Kim that I hope life will be positive for her and good for her. I will always love her. In spite of the pain of what happened in the past, like it is said, ‘You put one foot ahead of the other and just carry on.'”
This article was updated to reflect that Mays’ birth was in 1978.