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Twins Can Have Different Fathers: Here is How

Twins are types of multiple births. When a woman gives birth to two babies within a very short interval, we say she has given birth to twins. Scientifically speaking, there are two classes of twins: Identical and fraternal twins. Identical twins are totally identical under the same environmental, physical and psychological conditions. Fraternal twins will look like normal siblings.

How are twins formed?

A set of identical twins is formed when a fertilized egg of an ovarian tube splits into two identical parts, while fraternal twins are formed when when two eggs of a female are each fertilized by different sperm cells. In simple terms, identical twin are formed with a single sperm cell, while fraternal twins are formed with two sperm cells.

Credit: Shutterstock

What type of twins can have different fathers?

Because of the fact that identical twins are formed with a one sperm cell, it directly follows that identical twins cannot have different fathers ( there is no way two sperm cells will fertilize a single egg). On the other hand, fraternal twins are formed when two sperm cells fertilize two egg cells ( one sperm cell fuse with one egg cell), hence, fraternal twins can be formed by sperms of two different men. This means fraternal twins can have different fathers.

It is possible to be impregnated by two men

While it is very difficult to grasp, a woman' s eggs can be fertilized by the sperm cells of different persons. This phenomenon whereby the eggs of an ovarian tube is fertilized by the sperm cells of different men is known as " heteropaternal superfecundation" . This type of superfecundation leads to the formation of fraternal twins with different fathers.

source: Shutterstock

For a twin to be produced this way the female needs to meet with two different men within 24 hours. It is rare but also possible if the woman sleeps with the second man after 3- 5 days. This is because a sperm cell have a life span of about five days. Scientist have long expected this phenomenon because there are popular cases of " " ( This is a phenomenon whereby a single sperm cell fertilizes the eggs of different vulva. Not only twins can have different fathers; triplets, quadruplets and so on can have different fathers.

source: Pinterest

Cases of twins with different fathers

The first case of heteropaternal superfecundation was reported in 1982 when a set of fraternal twins had different skin colors (one was white and the other was black). There have been cases of this phenomenon in Greek Mythology: Leda, a Spartan queen, was seduced by the Greek god Zeus in the form of a swan. After laying with the swan, Leda also laid with her husband. The 9th month after this ordeal, Leda gave birth to two daughters, one by Tyndareus (Her husband) and the other by Zeus.

source: Pinterest

In 1985, a woman gave birth to a set of twin that shared the same placenta. After so many quarreling, a lawsuit led to the carrying out of a DNA test on the babies. It was then found out that the twins had different fathers.

In 2016, a woman was employed as a surrogate mother. Using Invitro Fertilization ( IVF), an embryo was implanted in her uterus. Later on, the woman gave birth to twins which had dissimilar genetic makeup. Further tests revealed that the other twin was formed by the sperm of the woman' s husband.

Source: iStock

The most recent case is perhaps the one reported in 2019. A Chinese woman gave birth to twins and after investigation was carried out, it was discovered that the babies had different fathers. The woman confessed that she had a secret affair the previous night before meeting with her husband.

While experts say that in the total population of fraternal twins, only about 0. 1 percent have different fathers, many people have disagreed. Though only about 19 cases of heteropaternal superfecundation have been reported, it can be argued that more cases are still unrevealed. This argument is reasonable in the sense most of the cases reported are due to lawsuits, disagreements and conflicts.

Though it is not so likely, twins can actually have different fathers. What do you think? Please feel free to express your opinion! And you can also ask questions about anything on this article.

Content created and supplied by: Jackiejeropsing (via Opera News )

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