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A Woman Gave Birth To Semi-Identical Twins, And Doctors Were Left Totally Perplexed

The Australian Mom

In 2014, an Australian woman who asked not to be identified became pregnant. Like any expectant mother, she was excited about her six-week ultrasound. It was going to be the first time that she would see her baby. When the doctor told her that she was having twins, she was thrilled. Professor Nicholas Fisk, the woman’s doctor at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, found something unusual during the ultrasound.

Identical and Fraternal

Most parents who are expecting twins want to know if they are having identical twins or fraternal. Identical twins come from the same egg that is fertilized with one sperm. When the egg splits, two babies form. Because the babies are from the same egg and sperm, they have identical DNA. The only difference between the two is their fingerprints. This is because, in the womb, the babies touch different areas in different ways, which creates unique markings. Fraternal twins are developed with two separate eggs and two separate sperm. They each have their own genetic makeup, and often don’t look identical. The number of fraternal twins has increased with the popularity of in vitro fertilization because the treatment causes the mother to produce more eggs that have the opportunity to be fertilized. When the Australian woman’s doctor took her scans, he found out that her babies weren’t identical, but they also weren’t fraternal.

Semi-Identical Twins

On the scan, the doctor saw a pair of amniotic sacs, each on the same placenta. This was a sign that the mother was having identical twins. It wasn’t until the next scan that the doctor saw that the babies weren’t identical because there were one boy and one girl. This isn’t something that is possible with identical twins. He discovered that the twins were semi-identical, which is very rare. It is so rare that besides this mother, there is only one other reported case of this ever happening. A Woman gave birth to semi-identical twins, and doctors were left totally perplexed.


Semi-identical twins are formed when just one egg is fertilized by two separate sperm. This means that each baby has 100 percent of their mother’s DNA, and 50 percent each of their father’s. This means that the babies are three-fourths identical rather than being 100 percent identical. After doing some testing, Professor Fisk discovered that the two babies shared 89 percent of the same DNA. It was something that he had never seen before. It was something that only one doctor had ever seen before. The other only known semi-identical twins were born in 2007.

How Many Others

Professor Fisk couldn’t help but wonder how many other twins were out there that are actually semi-identical but were misidentified. Fisk and his team decided to examine the DNA of 1,000 sets of fraternal twins. When word got out about his testing, twins from all over were reaching out to him asking to be tested. A 70-year-old set of twins were among those. They wanted to know if they were more than fraternal twins.

No Results

Unfortunately, all of the twins tested turned out to be fraternal. Professor Fisk didn’t uncover any other sets of semi-identical twins.

Another Set Of Twins To Cause a Stir

The Australian mother and her semi-identical twins aren’t the only twins to cause a stir in the medical community. In 2017, photos of twins, Kalani and Jarani Dean received a great deal of attention due to their appearance.

African-American Dad, White Mom

Whitney Meyer is white and her boyfriend, Thomas Dean, is black. Most biracial babies have a bit of each parent in them, making their skin color right in between moms and dads. Kalani and Jarani are different. When the babies were born, Kalani was white like her mother, and Jarani was much darker like her father.

Two Families

The twins’ skin color was so different that they looked like they came from two different families, even though Whitney carried them both and Thomas fathered them both.

Embracing the Difference

Although the two babies didn’t look like twins, Whitney and Thomas still dressed them identically. They love their daughters, and they fully embrace their differences. Whitney says that their twins are the best of both worlds. She and her boyfriend each have a baby that looks just like them. Whitney says that the twins are just as close as typcial twins, even though their appearance is so different. The couple says that people often ask if the girls are related, and when they tell them that the girls are twins, a look of shock is common. These twins are rare, but it does happen. There is currently a set of teenage twins who are two different skin colors, just like Whitney and Thomas’ girls.

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