For most of us, it seems scientifically impossible for one set of twins to have two different fathers. But now it’s time to think again. A man in New Jersey is only going to have to pay child support for one child after a judge ruled that the two children actually have two different dads.
The ruling occurred after the mother went to court to seek child support for her kids. This led to DNA testing to determine who should be paying for the well-being of the children.
Passaic County Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed, after seeing the test results, ruled that the father would have to pay child support for one of the kids, but dismissed the mother’s claim for the other one. Most people don’t believe this is possible, but experts say that it’s happened before.
Dr. Brooke Rossi, an obstetrician and gynecologist at University Hospitals McDonald’s Women’s Hospital in Cleveland, told ABC News that this occurrence is rare, but quite possible. She says that a woman can produce two separate eggs during her fertility cycle and they can both become fertilized within a few days of each other.
“The sperm live in the genital tract for two days,” Rossi said. “It’s possible a woman can have sex with a man on a Tuesday and have sex with a different man on Wednesday, and it is possible for [her] to get pregnant,” with twins.
The process is called heteropaternal superfecundation and occurs in just one out of every 13,000 cases in which twins are born, according to a 1997 study. According to Rossi, the twins can still be born healthy inside the mother’s body.
The mother admitted to the court that she’d had more than one male visitor around the time she was conceived, but only put one man’s name on the child support petition. She may now have to add a second one.