View Full Version : What Do You Know About Fraternal Twins?

Alpha Echo
07-13-2011, 03:56 PM
I know there's a lot of info out there, and I'm starting my research, but I thought I'd see if there are any experts - or even fraternal twins - out there.

I'm thinking about a story of fraternal female twins whose mother gives them up for adoption, and later they stumble across each other in an interersting way.... ;)

Anyway, what do you guys know about the connection between fraternal twins? Is it the same as identical twins? If so, could you give me some examples?

Thanks guys!

07-13-2011, 05:16 PM
There's a lot of interesting research on fraternal vs. biological twins, much of which uses twins who were separated and later found each other.
Fraternal twins are no more biologically than other siblings with the same biological parents. Fraternal twins who grow up together are often closer than other siblings because they experienced all their developmental milestones together and their shared experiences. The connection that they feel is a result of the environmental closeness, not biological. They don't match up in studies the way identical twins do, but they often match up better than other biological siblings. From the research I've done over the years, I believe fraternal twins who meet later in life, as well as other siblings who are reunited as adults, look for similarities and twins may be more likely to view the similarities (like the way they twirl their hair when nervous) as twinship rather than biological-siblingship.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
07-13-2011, 05:22 PM
I'm married to one of a pair... but I'm running late. I'll come back this afternoon and try to give some info. :) These two are quite... different.

Alpha Echo
07-13-2011, 06:03 PM
Thanks PinkAmy!

I'm married to one of a pair... but I'm running late. I'll come back this afternoon and try to give some info. :) These two are quite... different.

Oooh, yay, I look forward to your expertise!

07-13-2011, 11:32 PM
It runs on one side of my family :) They are all just like brothers and sisters except for the age thing and folks knowing they are twins.

I think growing up a twin matters to the situation. I wouldn't think separated fraternal twins would show much difference compared to regular siblings.

07-13-2011, 11:39 PM
I'm a fraternal twin.

I've treated my twin sister exactly the same as my other sisters for seventy plus years. Any 'special' closeness I feel towards her is simply because I know we are twins and, as has already been mentioned, we grew up together experiencing the same things at the same age.

If our mother had given us up for adoption at an early age and we had been separated, the separation would have meant little I suspect. If in later years we were reunited and found out we were twins, I suspect that fact in itself would be interesting but beyond that we would act the same way as any separated and reunited brother and sister.

We don't experience or 'do' any of the strange/weird things that are often attributed to identical twins.

In other words I don't think using fraternal twins in place of a brother and an elder/younger sister is going to have any real influence on your story per se other than one of them saying at some point - "Gosh, we're twins. Isn't that wonderful."

Any help?

07-13-2011, 11:59 PM
I knew some fraternal twins, they were completely different in every way, one was highly intelligent like got straight A's the other would get occasional B's and C's. I know one is a musician and the other is doing animal studies, but they are so different in every way.

I don't think they were any thing the same other than their birthdays on the same day. Consider that they were just two eggs that ovulated at the same time (think Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen) whereas Identical Twins have the same dna (I think).

Alpha Echo
07-14-2011, 04:31 AM
Hmmmm, okay. Yes, you've all been help. So if I want to delve into the almost magical, for lack of a better word, connection between twins, they have to be identical.

I think that could probably work too. The way the story is starting to evolve in my head, it would add an interesting level that fraternal twins wouldn't.

I'm going to start another thread about identical twins because I'm curious if what I hear is true about their connections.

07-14-2011, 04:49 AM
My husband is a fraternal and the baby pictures of him and his brother are a hoot - one dark skinned, the other pale. They are immensely different, but brothers.

My nieces are identical twins. They don't talk about a bond (they are 13 and hard to talk to about lots of stuff :), but they are inseparable (which was never the case with my husband and his brother). They choose to do almost everything together (their parents split them up for school though) and act exactly alike. I wish they would dress differently or something because it is really hard to tell who is who!

Ol' Fashioned Girl
07-14-2011, 05:17 AM
My mother-in-law and FIL are both gone... MIL three years before I came along so she's never been around to confirm 'fraternal' or 'identical'. The aunts all swear Ol' Boy and Ol' BIL are identical, and they do look a lot alike, even more so when very young, but Ol' Boy is shorter by several inches and heavier by twenty or so pounds... Ol' BIL is skinny and always has been. Their health is different - Ol' Boy is very healthy; Ol' BIL is not. Ol' Boy's personality took after his mother's side of the family; Ol' BIL took after Dad's. Ol' Boy is outgoing, friendly, honest to a fault... I can't say the same for Ol' BIL. The two of them have been on non-speaking terms for many, many years due to BIL's actions. For two people to be born of the same couple, within forty-five minutes of one another, raised in the same house, at the same time, given the same treatment, the two couldn't be less alike tempermentally or personality-wise. There's absolutely no feeling of 'I'm missing my other half' at all

07-14-2011, 05:31 AM
My aunts were fraternal twins and about as much alike as oil and water - one red-head, one brunette, one short, one tall, and personality wise, not at all alike (one mean and the other weepy.)

One of my Girl Scouts had identical twin sisters. When they were little it was impossible to tell them apart except by personality (which differed only a little). When they were in their teens one grew a little bit taller, was a social butterfly, cheerleader, etc and the other was quieter, more artistic and more of a homebody. But appearance wise, if you didn't know which one was a bit taller you couldn't tell them apart. Puma

07-14-2011, 11:37 PM
I'm a fraternal twin. My sister and I have had a lot of moments where we say the exact same thing at the same time, but to be honest, I'm closer to my younger brother. He and I both look like my dad, and my twin sister looks like my mom.

Still it's cool to be a twin. And even though we look nothing alike, people still ask us if we're identical!


Anne Lyle
07-14-2011, 11:52 PM
I found an interesting book about twins in our campus library. Contrary to popular belief, it's actually possible for genetically identical twins to be quite different in appearance (height, etc) and for fraternal same-sex twins to be almost identical. However I have no idea if this makes them behave more like the other type of twin!

It's a subject that interests me, as my hero has a twin brother - but the connection between them owes more to the fantasy elements of the plot than to any conventional "twin bond".

07-21-2011, 09:52 AM
The difference between identical and fraturnal twins are that identical twins come from one fertilized egg spliting in two and developing into two different babies. They are always the same gender and have idential DNA. Fraturnal twins come from two eggs being released into the mother's womb at the same time. Genetically, they are no more twins than ordinary brothers and sisters.

Most of the 'twin powers' you hear about come from the notion of the twins once being the same person. But the fraturnal twins I've met are much closer than ordinary siblings I've known.

Purple Rose
07-21-2011, 12:16 PM
I have twin daughters, nearly twenty years old. I have many, many relatives on my mother's side with a number of fraternal twins (none identical) and two sets of triplets. All mulitple births were naturally conceived.

Two sets of twins were sperated at birth and given to close relatives who could not have children.

As far as i'm aware, they are all extremely close but no closer than many normal sibling relations. They are all different people with different personalities and character traits. Certainly in our family the many twins I know are also physically different - for instance, tall and short, slim and full, straight hair, curly hair, lighter skin, darker skin. They have different tastes in clothes, books, movies, etc. Different interests.

What i do think is not the same is the intensity with which they miss each other when separated, especially evident once they go to university.

07-21-2011, 09:45 PM
Interesting story...(maybe)...

I am a fraternal twin, but also among the rarest sort. Quite simply, for some reason my mother continued menstruating after becoming pregnant with my brother and one month later thus became pregnant with myself. Thus although we were born within an hour of each other, I showed every sign of being premature--I was smaller, a breach, and still had my caul.

Silver King
07-22-2011, 04:23 AM
Interesting story...(maybe)...
I find it fascinating and something that must happen very, very rarely.

This thread reminds me of a woman I worked with some years ago who lived with two men, one of whom was her husband and the other a close friend who was also her lover.

When she became pregnant with twins, there was great excitement yet uncertainty on their part as to who was the father. After the babies were born, it was apparent that they were fathered by both men, as one child was part African American and the other fully Caucasian.