*What are the chances of a woman giving birth to a pair of twins by two different fathers, you may ask? According to an article published in 1997 by a DNA expert, one in 13,000. This is now the reality of one woman, who admittedly had intercourse with two men within the same week. Now a judge has ruled that the New Jersey father she named in the paternity suit, is only responsible for paying child support for one of the twins.
This, after a DNA test showed him to be the father.
The father of the other child has not been identified.
The judge acknowledged the unusual circumstances of the case in a ruling this week.
“This is a case of first impression in New Jersey and only a handful of reported cases exist nationwide,” Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed said in his ruling.
After the mother of 2-year-old twins went to court seeking child support, an application was filed by the Passaic County Board of Social Services to establish paternity and child support on her behalf. That’s when it was established that the twins had two different fathers, according to the ruling.
And since the mother had only provided one name, a paternity test was performed only on that man, the documents said.
The ruling cited a 1997 article published by DNA expert Dr. Karl-Hanz Wurzinger who said one in every 13,000 reported paternity cases involving twins have different fathers.
This is considered a rare a rare phenomenon by the scientific community, according to the ruling.
The process was broken down by Dr. Keith Eddleman, director of obstetrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Two ova fertilized within the same menstrual cycle by two separate sperm is called super-fecundation. Twins with different fathers are called bi-paternal or hetero-paternal twins, according to Eddleman.
Since an egg has a life span of 12 to 48 hours and sperm is viable for seven to 10 days, there is about a week’s time for a potential overlap and the fertilization of two eggs by two sperm from two separate acts of intercourse with different men, according to Eddleman.
“It is more common than we think,” Eddleman said. “In many situations, you would never know because there is no reason to do a paternity test on twins.”
He believes the increase in the number of cases of bi-paternal twins is a result of technological advances and the ability to detect it more easily.
Read more at CNN.