Short Window Of Opportunity Can Result in 2 Dads for Twins
The little known fact that twins can be fathered by two different men has caused consternation in court cases where men have been brought to court for ruling on child support. With the news of this now out there will this cause other fathers to question about who actually fathered both children? Whatever happens from here it will be such a confusing situation for the children later in life It’s an amazing piece of Science that most of us would never know about.
A New Jersey mom who applied for child support found out that the man she was bringing to court only fathered one of her twins.
The other baby — born at the same time as the first — had a different father.
It’s a phenomenon known to the medical community as heteropaternal superfecundation (hetero meaning different, pater meaning father, and fecund meaning fertile).
Here’s how it can happen: Two male partners have sex with the same female partner. One man’s sperm fertilize one of the woman’s eggs while the other man’s sperm fertilize another one of her eggs. This all has to happen in less than a week, doctors estimate, since sperm are only viable for about five days.
It sounds crazy, but it’s not as strange as it sounds, Columbia University assistant clinical professor of maternal and fetal medicine Russell Miller tells Business Insider.
Think about your standard case of fraternal (non-identical) twins, suggests Miller. In this scenario, two different eggs from the same female partner get fertilized by one male partner. Two of the woman’s eggs, two of the same man’s sperm. In heteropaternal superfecundation, the same thing happens, only instead of two sperm from the same man fertilizing two different eggs, two different sperm from two different male partners are fertilizing two eggs.
“In this case you have two different sperm, one for each egg,” says Miller.