IT TOOK 72 years, but two women born half an hour apart in 1945 in the same hospital have finally learnt that they were raised by the wrong families.

According to KARE 11, Linda Jourdeans and Denice Juneski from Minnesota, America had lived happy enough lives, assuming like most of us do that the family they were raised by were their biological relatives.

Now and then they noticed things that they thought were a bit different, but didn’t pay those doubts much attention.

But in April Denice decided to do some research into her family tree. She took a DNA test and submitted the results to a website called 23andMe, which uses this genetic information to identify others who share the genes.

To her amazement, the results revealed that her DNA didn’t match any of the people who she had thought of as being her family her whole life!

“Either 23andMe made a mistake, or I was switched at birth. I was really supposed to be another person,” said Denice.

Then in another twist of fate, Linda’s niece also submitted her own DNA to 23andMe – and was curious to know who this stranger called Denice was who, according to the website, shared similar genes to her.

Linda immediately also submitted her DNA results to 23andMe. She was shocked when the website identified a woman she’d never met before as being her mum: Marianne Mayer, the woman who had raised Denice as her daughter.

The woman Linda had thought was her mum, Rochelle Nielsen, died from cancer when Linda was 17. Marianne, now 99, is living nearby in a care centre for people with memory problems.

Linda and Denice doubt they will ever find out exactly how the switch occurred, but they are delighted to have found each other and are slowly meeting the families they never knew they had.

“I consider it a gift,” Denice said.