Head-Scratching Siblings: Twins Who Don’t Share Birth Years

Four sets of twins share the majority of their DNA, but they weren't born in the same year.

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In a wacky turn of fate this New Year’s, three different American mothers gave birth to twins who straddled the midnight date change, leaving one twin born on 12/31/11 and the other with a 1/1/12 date of birth.

Twins Ronan and Rory Rosputni of Buffalo, N.Y. were born after their mother’s water broke during a wedding. In Minnesota, Beckett and Freya Humenny came into the world weeks ahead of schedule. And Jenna and Leah Bear of Florida cut it as close as can be, with Jenna born at 11:59 pm on New Year’s Eve and Leah at midnight on New Year’s Day. All six babies appear to be healthy and happy.

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Mother Brighid Rosputni said to the Daily Mail, “This is like a dream. They have completely different birth dates and years.” And father Blake Bear told the Tampa Bay Times, “It’s a great way to end the previous year and start the new year.”

While some twins might welcome the thought of a unique birthday (or birthday party), it’s not an option for most identical or fraternal siblings. Though different days of birth are not uncommon, disparate years are naturally more rare.

In even more off-the-wall multiple birth news, a couple in Gloucestershire, England, has given birth to twins five years apart. Last November, Floren Blake was born from the same batch of embryos as her 5-year-old brother Reuben. Advances in fertility treatment made it possible for the Blakes to implant their fertilized eggs in 2006 and again in 2011. Critics will quibble that the children were not born together or grown in the womb together, factors which traditionally define twins. But they were conceived at the same time, from the same batch of genetic material. The Blakes were lucky that their remaining embryos survived intact after the first implantation; doctors generally agree that carrying a single baby to term is less risky than two simultaneously.

And as icing on the twin cake, two Welsh siblings were just declared the world’s oldest twins, as they celebrate their 102nd birthday on January 4. Though Lily Milward was in the hospital with a broken hip, her sister Ena Pugh visited her to share some birthday cake, as well as copies of the Guinness World Records book in which they are featured.

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