Stories of Twins Separated at Birth

Separated at birth twin sisters Samantha Futerman (L) and Anais Bordier tape an interview at 'Good Morning America' at the ABC Times Square Studios on October 29, 2014 in New York City.

Ray Tamarra/Getty Images 

In February 2014, the world became enamored with the story of Anais Bordier and Samantha Futerman (in photo). The two girls, raised on different continents, were twins who discovered each other through Facebook and YouTube. Their fascinating story is just one example of incidences of twins separated at birth. Once reunited, they often discover amazing similarities and coincidences.

Like Anais and Samantha, James Arthur Springer and James Edward Lewis were adopted by different families and grew up apart. In 1979. at the age of thirty-nine, they were reunited. After becoming involved with the Minnesota Twin Family Study, some remarkable similarities were established. For example (from the book Entwined Lives by Nancy Segal):

  • Physical: both were six feet tall and weighed 180 lbs.
  • Marriages: both had been married twice. Even more incredibly, both of their first wives were named Linda and their second wives were named Betty.
  • Children: Their sons had the same names (James Alan and James Allan)
  • Pets: Both had a dog named Toy growing up.
  • Employment: Both worked in law enforcement as sheriffs
  • Preferences: Both smoked Salems and drank Miller Lite beer
  • Habits: Both bit their fingernails

But there were also differences. They had different hairstyles. One married for the third time. And one was more adept at speaking while the other was a better writer.

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Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein are identical twin sisters who wrote a book about their experience. Identical Strangers details their story. They were separated by an adoption agency in New York that sought to separate identical twins as infants and then follow their development as an experiment. They never knew the other existed. Thirty-five years later, when Elyse initiated an inquiry about her birth family, she discovered that she had a twin sister.

Anna Kandl and Ella Cuares were adopted from China in 2006 and raised in the United States. Their adopted mothers made the connection that the girls were born at the same time and had a suspicion that they might be related. After testing, it was confirmed they were fraternal twins. Although the families live in different states, they encourage the girls’ relationship.

Emilie Falk and Lin Backman were born in Indonesia and were both adopted by families in Sweden. They grew up about twenty-five miles apart but never knew each other until an Internet search put them in contact with each other and they reunited thirty years later. An article reports that both girls are teachers, have the same wedding anniversary and danced to the same wedding song.

Barbara Herbert and Daphne Goodship were adopted by separate families after their mother committed suicide. When they were reunited as adults, they discovered many eerie coincidences in their lives. Both left school at 14 and met their husbands when they were 16. Both suffered miscarriages in the same month, then had two sons and a daughter. Both preferred their coffee cold and had phobias about blood and heights. They have the same heart murmur, thyroid problem, and allergies.

5 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Twin Sisters Separated at Birth Reunited Thanks to Social Media. Time. 2014.

  2. Segal NL. Entwined Lives: Twins and What They Tell Us about Human Behavior. New York: Plume; 2000.

  3. Schein E, Bernstein P. Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited. New York: Random House; 2008.

  4. The Telegraph. Indonesian twins reunited after finding each other in Sweden 30 years later. 2012.

  5. Independent. Research into twins can help us unlock the secrets of inherited disease - and can also predict whether we will smoke, be unfaithful or even snore. 2009.

By Pamela Prindle Fierro
 Pamela Prindle Fierro is the author of several parenting books and the mother of twin girls.