Identical Twins Separated at Birth

What happens when identical twins born in Vietnam are separated by adoption, with one adopted by a US family and one adopted by a Vietnamese family? Join us to talk with Erika Hayasaki, a journalist and author of Somewhere Sisters: A Story of Adoption, Identity and the Meaning of Family.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The story.
  • Twin studies.
  • Adoption studies.
  • The similarities of the twins in your story and in twin studies.
  • The differences between the twins in your story and twin studies.
  • Reuniting
  • How did the twins’ reunion affect them, their family in Vietnam, and their adopted family in the US?
  • Complications that the disparate degrees of wealth caused.
  • Adoptive parents’ role in reunion.

Twin Study mentioned in the interview:

  • Polderman, T., Benyamin, B., de Leeuw, C. et al. Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies. Nat Genet 47, 702–709 (2015).
  • Website based on the research cited above: MaTCH. This website provides a resource for the heritability of all human traits that have been investigated with the classical twin design. The traits have been classified into 28 broad trait domains, as well as according to the standard classification schemes of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) or the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10). Currently, the database includes information from 2748 papers, published between 1958 and 2012, reporting on 17804 traits on a total of 14,558,903 twin pairs.

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth