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Father Tells of Daughter’s Plea to Stay With Him

Associated Press

A man said Wednesday that his 9-year-old daughter pleaded, “Daddy, I don’t want to move away,” after being told of a Pennsylvania couple’s legal fight to prove they are her rightful parents.

Robert Mays, who had been silent for months in hopes of protecting his daughter, Kimberly Michelle, stepped forward for the first time Wednesday to reveal his identity. He promised to fight any attempts to take her away.

“I wouldn’t care if they traced her heritage to Cabbage Patch U.S.A., she is my daughter,” Mays said at a news conference at his attorney’s office.

Babies Believed Swapped

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Regina and Ernest Twigg of Langhorne, Pa., claim the girl was born to them but was swapped with another child soon after birth in 1978 at a Florida hospital. The girl they raised as a daughter died in August of a heart defect.

Mays, 43, said he told his daughter of the Twiggs’ months-long battle to require the fourth-grader to submit to genetic blood tests to prove her parentage.

About a week ago, he said, he sat his only child down and told her, “We live in America and we are free and we do have a right to make allegations” that are then processed through the courts. At one point, she grew wide-eyed, he said.

“She wanted to know if it meant she would have to go live with these people,” he said. “She said ‘Daddy, I don’t want to move away.’ ”

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Mays, who has refused to allow a genetic test and said he is certain he took his own daughter home from the hospital, assured her that nothing would change.

Mays has been raising Kimberly alone after his first wife died of cancer in 1981. His name had been known to the news media but had been voluntarily withheld to protect the child.


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