If you ask most people they will say that twins must have the same father, but that’s not actually true. There have been several recent cases where a woman had sexual intercourse with two men within a few days of the other, and when her twins arrived they were nothing like each other.
Charlotte Hilbrandt of Denmark was divorced from her husband and jumped back into the dating game. She met a man she fancied and they were sexually intimate. Meanwhile her ex-husband never gave up the notion they may reconcile and a few days later, on New Year’s Day, the couple reconnected and ended up in bed together.
Some weeks later Charlotte discovered she was pregnant and would have twins. Deciding honesty was the best policy she told her husband Michael and her new boyfriend Tommy of the situation and admitted she did not know who the father of her twins was. Michael was delighted hoping that the addition of twins to the family would cement a reconciliation and Tommy had longed to be a father and was equally receptive to the prospects of fatherhood.
The healthy twin boys were born 48 minutes apart in 2005 and to her surprise, one strongly resembled Michael and the other her boyfriend Tommy, however, the whirlwind of new twins delayed any DNA testing.
Charlotte, Michael and Tommy were shocked when the DNA results showed each of them was the father of a twin! Charlotte was told that her situation was a one in a billion scenario and that her odds were far better of winning a lottery. She was also told that her twins were only the third known incident of twins being genetic half-brothers.
Fast forward to New Jersey in 2015 where yesterday Judge Sohail Mohammed of Passaic County Superior Court ruled that as a result of DNA testing, Mr. A.S. would pay child support for one of two twins as he was not the biological father of twin #2.
The twins’ mother, T.M. had applied for government benefits for her and the children and as is routine, social workers asked her to identify the father of her children so they could bring a court application to obtain child support from him. T.M.was in a relationship with A.S. and named him as the father. However, later she advised the court that within the same week she had sexual relations with another man.
Expert witness Karl-Hans Wurzinger, the laboratory director of Identity Testing Division at Laboratory Corp. of America, testified at the trial noting that in an article he published in 1997 he estimated that one in every 13,000 reported paternity cases involved twins with separate fathers. He obviously did not agree the odds were one in a billion.
Wurzinger also commented that although there is no central registry of births related to the phenomenon, the incidence of twins with separate fathers is believed to be on the increase, due to assisted reproductive technologies, medical stimulation of ovulation, and promiscuity.
If Mr. Wurzinger’s statistics are accurate, there must be many fathers of twins who are not aware only one of their twins is biologically related to them. Interesting?