It’s A Twin Thing

13 01 2008

The news on Friday that two twins, separated at birth when adopted by different families, married without knowing their true relationship has sparked many different reactions. Some people have been disgusted others have focussed on the legal issues at stake and whether privacy is always such a good thing. My overwhelming feeling, however, is that of sympathy for the victims of this terrible mess.

Clearly they had no way of knowing they were related. Although I haven’t seen any pictures, I’m not sure that even if they looked alike that would make any difference. After all, lots of people look alike, it doesn’t mean they’re related. What makes it even sadder is that if you believe the theory that twins share a special connection then it is highly likely that the very thing that attracted them to one another could have been the fact that they are twins. That “special connection” is what we look for in our partners.

I can only imagine the feelings going through their heads at the moment. Obviously if they got married their feelings for each other are very strong, and it’s hard to argue that they’re not in love (as opposed to simply feeling familial love), but equally you must imagine that they feel rather disgusted now that they know the truth. It’s so hard to find someone special, someone you love enough to spend the rest of your life with, and to have that dream shattered by the truth that you’re related must be terrible.

Then there’s all the added feelings of betrayal they must feel. Why hadn’t their parents told them? Even if they didn’t know which parents the other sibling had gone to, you must assume they knew that another sibling existed. Most adoption agencies try and keep siblings together and I can only think that if these two were separated it was because no suitable parent could be found who wanted them both. Even the knowledge they might have a sibling out there could have helped. In all likelihood they’d have tried to find one another. Of course there’s still the possibility they’d have met independently of that search but they’d have known the truth before developing deeper feelings.

Not only that but can they ever truly feel like brother and sister? Now that they’ve, most likely, bumped nasties, will they be able to turn the clock back? I suspect not. Even without the added complications, most people separated from blood relatives by adoption struggle, and have to work hard to build a relationship. The difference is that at least there they’re starting from “zero”, so to speak, there are no feelings towards the blood relative already in place. You’re starting with a clean slate.

Here you’d have to stop yourself feeling romantic love before you even got started. Anyone who’s ever had to get over someone they loved knows that it’s incredibly hard. Speaking for myself I’ve never truly stopped loving anyone I was in love with, even if I have “moved on”. To have to do it with all the added complications seems like a mammoth task, and you can’t help but feel that this is a tragedy.

A tragedy that these poor people will have to live with forever.


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5 responses

13 01 2008
Solomon Broad

The way I see it is this – as long as they are happy, and not harming anyone else, what does it matter? they must be at least fairly happy together, to get married. Having children would obviously be a grey area, but they’re both adults and they’re both capable of making their own decisions. So long as they’re happy together, power to them I say. There are enough things in this life that can make people unhappy. If they found happiness together, then good on them! 🙂

13 01 2008
cardiogirl

I had exactly the same thoughts you have expressed when I found out about this. So sad and the sense of betrayal must be so incredibly strong. What a sad story.

13 01 2008
Rebecca

I’m glad you wrote about this. I wanted to do so, but I just didn’t know where to start.

“The poor things” is all I can say.

13 01 2008
Pribek

I have a good friend that, at 40-years-old or so, found out the true identity of his father. Until this time, he was under the impression that his father was the man who raised him; the man he knew his entire life. When he was told the truth, he immediately realized that a girl he had a short affair with, years before, was actually his half-sister. All of this has brought a tremendous amount of darkness into his world.

Knowing this, I would say that your piece is spot on. I can’t imagine what these people are going through. You are right, it is tragic.

I heard a commentator saying that it was such long odds, that it would probably never happen again. I don’t know. It does seem like it could be avoided with some type of background check at the time of the application for a marriage license.

13 01 2008
Mr President

I feel incredibly sorry for both of them, and what’s terrible about it is, as Pribek says, it could probably be avoided by a background check at the time of application for a marriage license. I’m not convinced the odds really are that long, there’s this story, then there’s Pribek’s friend.

The fact is that, especially in this day and age, even children who haven’t been adopted may not truly know their parentage. People have affairs, or multiple lovers, sometimes there’s an “overlap” in potential dates of conception that could lead to the possibility of having more than one father. It’s simply a maze of possible problems that could be avoided by background checks.

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