Tomorrow night, twins Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein will be speaking at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. As written about in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, they’ll be talking about growing up as twins which isn’t unique aside from the fact they didn’t know about each other until they were 35 years old. Their mother gave them up for adoption and the agency she worked with decided to separate any twins in an effort to test nature vs. nurture; so the siblings never knew of their brothers and sisters – even the adoptive parents didn’t know. Bernstein and Schein are the first of 5 sets of twins and one group of triplets to learn of their siblings existence. How crazy is it that there are 11 people out there that don’t know they have siblings?
The arrogance of the doctors and the agency that did this is amazing. Yes they were placed with loving parents, but they weren’t allowed to grow up with each other as they should have. To make matters worse, the sole living doctor isn’t remorseful and won’t divulge the results of the test, and those results are sealed until 2066. Talk about playing god. The doctor and the agency excuse themselves by saying it was an accepted practice to separate twins who were being adopted because it was better for their development. Does this mean that allowing twins to grow up with their birth parents is a mistake? Total arrogance.
Bernstein and Schein have written a book titled Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited and are touring to discuss it. Their thoughts must be amazing to hear. There is also a great interview on NPR.