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Mom Discovers Twins Have Two Different Fathers

This is not a photo of the twins in question. Shutterstock

The Short of It

Can twins have two different biological fathers? Yes, they can! That's exactly what a DNA test revealed in a recent child support case in New Jersey.

The Lowdown

It sounds impossible, but it's not. According to the New Jersey Law Journal, an unidentified mother was seeking child support from the man she assumed was the biological father to both her twin girls. But a paternity test revealed he was only dad to one of them.

How did it happen? Occasionally, a woman's ovaries will release two eggs in one cycle, as opposed to the typical one egg. Identical twins come from one fertilized egg that splits into two, but fraternal twins result if two eggs are fertilized by two different sperm.

The mom says she had sex with both the dad and another man within the course of a week. Since sperm can live inside a woman's body for up to five days, if she had sex with two different men during those five days, sperm from one guy could fertilize one egg, and sperm from the other could fertilize the other. And voilà! Twins with two different dads.

The Upshot

There aren't any stats on how common cases like these are, but there is a clinical name for it: heteropaternal superfecundation. Paternity tests on the Maury Povich have revealed several sets of twins with two different fathers.

"This is definitely one of those, 'Wow," stories," Shari Brasner, an obstetrician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, told Yahoo Parenting. "Paternity isn't always contested, so there are probably scenarios in which this has happened, but nobody knows. You don't blink an eye at fraternal twins looking different after all."

The dad in the New Jersey case will be required to pay child support, but only for the twin who is biologically his daughter.

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