Adoption and Identical Twins. Nurture versus Nature.

I think I have always been interested in ADOPTION, maybe because my best friend at school was adopted.  It interested me to realise that she had to move from one environment to an entirely different one.

Later on D and I adopted two boys, to complete our family of two daughters born to us.

I have also been interested in adopted TWINS, although there are no twins in our family.

identical-twins

I have often recorded programmes about twins. Of special interest are those who were separated at birth. If they are identical twins, so many amazing coincidences and likenesses have been recorded when they meet up. For example, they often call their children by the same names, or have similar jobs. Many even more amazing likenesses have  been recorded in scientific studies of identical twins.   Sometimes it can be after as long as 50 years of growing up in a completely different environment, or maybe even more years of complete separation!

This is especially interesting and raises the interesting question of Nature versus Nurture.

The programme Twin sisters. A World Apart (BBC4 on 4th July 2016 ) sounded a likely programme for me to enjoy. In actual fact, it surpassed my expectations.

twins-a-world-apart

 

This documentary tells the poignant true story of twin sisters from China.  Their names, given by their adoptive parents, are Mia and Alexandra.  They were  found as babies in a cardboard box in 2003 and adopted by two separate sets of parents.  Mia was adopted by parents from Sacramento in the USA and Alexandra by parents from a remote fishing village in Norway.

In the US, Mia is raised a typical all-American girl, with a bustling life filled with violin lessons, girl scouts and soccer, while Alexandra grows up in the quietude of the breathtakingly beautiful but isolated village of Fresvik, Norway, where she happily looks after a pet rat in her family’s shed/workshop.

When they received the OK to adopt an abandoned Chinese baby, neither of the adoptive families were told their daughters were twins. However, due to an unavoidable delay of one day for one of the couples, they all met on the same day when they signed official papers to adopt their new daughters.

They should have been signing the papers on separate days and thus they would never have met. What a coincidence!

The couples were each carrying their new baby daughter prior to signing the official papers.   When they saw both girls, they wondered whether the children could be twins because they looked so alike. The Chinese authorities said “no”, but somehow the new parents persisted and managed to arrange a DNA test and the girls were indeed declared to be identical twins.

Both sets of parents understood how important this link is and so far have managed to get the children together for one visit in Norway and they plan to meet up on the next occasion in the United States, at the home of the American family. I believe the girls were about eight years old on the occasion of the visit. They got on beautifully.

Interestingly everybody noticed that the girls often had similar mannerisms, even though they have been brought up in such different environments. The Norwegian little girl is being brought up in the remote Norwegian countryside. She can speak a few words of English. By the time they next meet, she will probably be able to speak quite a bit more. I am not sure whether the American girl was learning a few words of Norwegian, but they have certainly already managed already to communicate and enjoy each other’s company.

I’ll look out for more true-life stories about adopted twins.

 

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