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by Patricia Irwin Johnston, MS


So You've Already Got Pseudo-Twins. Now What? - continued

(Nine practical strategies continued)

  • Being artificially twinned is likely to be harder on same-sex siblings than on opposite sex pairs. If your children are the same sex, you'll need to work even harder not to twin them.
  • If your children are of the same race, the assumption that they are fraternal twins will be even greater than it will be if they are of opposite sexes or racially/ethnically different. On the other hand, close siblings of differing races may draw even more questions from the curious, causing the children to feel awkward and uncomfortably "different."
  • As your children grow, support their close friendship but discourage what could be their inclination to become "twin entwined" as exclusive friends who are frightened of separation from one another.
  • Give serious consideration to planning from preschool forward to separate your children in school by more than just different rooms and teachers for the same grade. There are two ways to do this: you may decide to hold one back from the beginning (boys in particular often benefit from starting formal kindergarten at 6 rather than 5) or, if the cognitive development of both children makes it in their individual best interests to start school at the same time, you might consider sending them to separate schools.
  • If there was a birthparent deception involved in one or both of your babies' arrivals, honor your child and his genetic parents by fixing the lie as soon as possible. Allowing this potential problem to exist unaddressed can and will begin to feel like a sword hanging over parents' heads. Furthermore, the longer you wait, the more likely your child's birthparent-and eventually your child himself-will feel betrayed. Consider engaging the help of a professional social worker or other mental health professional with mediation training to assist you in sharing this information with your child's birthparent and establishing a more honest relationship.

Above all, give yourself credit for having had the best of intentions in being so eager to build a family that your children arrived close together. Be the best parent you can be to your individual children. If you acknowledge and address your family's unique issues, allowing yourselves to reach out for support or help when you need it, your family will do very well!

7 "Instant Family? A Case against Artificial Twinning" appeared in articles in Adoptive Families magazine, Pact Press, and Serono Symposia USA's newsletter Insights into Infertility before becoming part of Launching a Baby's Adoption and then this book.


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