A pair of fraternal twins in Vietnam have been confirmed to have different fathers, after the dissimilarity between the children prompted their parents to take DNA tests.
The Vietnamese couple brought their fraternal twins to the Center for Genetic Analysis and Technologies, in the country’s capital of Hanoi, to have DNA tests, after pressure from extended family members who noticed the children did not look alike.
Both the mother and father took DNA tests as it had been feared they may have been given the wrong baby at the hospital. The children, from Vietnam’s northern Hoa Binh province, are two-years-old and distinctive by one having thick, wavy hair, while the other has thin, straight hair.
Scientists in Vietnam have confirmed it is a case of bi-paternal twins, or twins who have different fathers.
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Twins born with different fathers is a possibility if two eggs from the same mother are fertilized by sperm from two different men during separate acts of sexual intercourse within the same ovulation period.
The tests, carried out by the Hanoi Centre for Genetic Analysis and Technology, proved that the twins both belonged to the mother, and that the 34-year-old husband was the father of only one of the twins, making the children bipaternal.
This occurrence, known as heteropaternal superfecundation, is a rare case with few publicly aware of it.
President of the Hanoi-based Vietnam Genetic Association Professor Le Dinh Luong, which did the DNA testing, said the results were “100% correct” in what he called “an extremely rare case” as this is the first case to be recorded in Vietnam.
Luong said there are only less than 10 known cases of twins with different fathers in the world. There might be other cases but the parents and/or the twins were not aware of it or didn’t want to announce it.
Prof Luong said the family was surprised by this revelation, and looking for the best way to deal with the situation, and further declined to give more details, because of a confidentiality agreement with the parents.
Similarly, last year in the United States, a case was reported of a court which ordered a man from New Jersey to pay child support for one girl in a set of twins, after genetic tests showed he was not the father of the other.
Also in 2009, another case was reported by Fox News where a certain Mia Washington admitted she was having an affair when she conceived, with two eggs fertilized by the sperm of two men.
Miss Washington and her partner James Harrison took DNA tests after noticing twins 11-month-old Justin and Jordan, had different facial features.