Foreword by Dr. Thomas J. Bouchard Jr., Director of the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Minnesota
"Insightful...with a solid mix of clinical observations...and compassionate reflections[,] Segal assesses complex legal, moral, and ethical questions."
"On its face Someone Else’s Twin is a gifted researcher’s exploration of the moral and legal crises that resulted when a hospital failed at a routine task and switched twins at birth, denying them each other. But the book is also a profound and heartbreaking mystery story that confronts the issue of personal identity and provides answers to questions that have stumped us all: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?"
—John Ed Bradley, author of Tupelo Nights and Restoration
"As an identical twin, Someone Else's Twin is a very personal story for me. I was struck by how Nancy Segal so poignantly portrayed the plight of twins switched at birth. It's beyond belief to me that the closeness I've come to share with my twin sister might never have been possible had this kind of switch had happened to us. Truly a nightmare. Segal's attention to detail and professional and personal insight make this a fascinating read."
—Nancy Stern Winters, Lookalike Productions
"With the frequency of twinning almost doubling in the last 30 years, Segal's thorough yet affecting work serves as a modern window into nature vs. nurture and the wrenching consequences of inadvertently twisted family ties. In some cases, the black sheep of a family is not a black sheep at all, just a misplaced one."
—Preston Williams, Washington Post Staff Writer
"Nancy Segal introduces the reader to a thought provoking examination of who we are as individuals; demonstrating how easily that can all change through the carelessness of another. As a parent of monozygotic twins, and as a volunteer dedicated to improving the lives of multiple-birth individuals and their families, it is heartbreaking and overwhelmingly sad to see the long term impact a mistake at birth can have on the lives and relationships of everyone involved."
—Kimberley Weatherall, chair, International Council of Multiple Birth Organizations (ICOMBO), Acting Executive Director, Multiple Births Canada (MBC)
Identical twins Anna and Bella were born thirty-seven years ago in Spain’s Canary Islands. Due to chaotic conditions at the hospital or simple human error, Anna was unintentionally switched with another infant in the baby nursery.
In this fascinating story, Dr. Nancy L. Segal, herself a twin and an expert on twin research, describes the consequences of this unintentional separation of identical twin sisters. She considers not only the effects on these particular sisters, but the implications of this and similar cases for questions concerning identity, familial bonds, nature-nurture, and the law.
Anna and Bella grew up never knowing the truth about their birth, and their parents had no idea that an error had been made. When one twin was confused for the other by a friend during a chance encounter in a clothing store, the twins finally met at the age of twenty-eight. Once the startling discovery of the twins’ actual identities was made, the families were in shock. The newly reunited sisters experienced mixed emotions and deep confusion, as did their parents, brothers, and sisters. Eventually, the case led to worldwide publicity and a lawsuit that lasted for years.
Based on her extensive research into the psychology of twins and interviews with family members, Dr. Segal explores many questions of universal human significance: How do mothers know who their biological children are? How much does our family contribute to our sense of self? Are we more like the people who raised us or the people we are born to? Can the legal system ever compensate parents for a mistake that really has no remedy?
Beyond the case of Anna and Bella, Dr. Segal discusses prior cases of twins and non-twins switched at birth. She also examines custodial decisions concerning children who are the result of donated sperm or eggs by individuals outside the rearing family. She further elucidates the benefits to children from adoption.The combination of a riveting true story and cutting-edge twin research makes Someone Else’s Twin an irresistible page-turner.
Page Count: 301 (photos)
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
Nancy L. Segal, Ph.D. (CA), is a professor in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton, and the director of the Twin Studies Center, which she founded in 1991. She is the author of Indivisible by Two: Lives of Extraordinary Twins and Entwined Lives: Twins and What They Tell Us about Human Behavior, and the senior editor of Uniting Psychology and Biology: Integrative Perspectives on Human Development. She is also an associate editor of Twin Research and Human Genetics, the official journal of the International Society for Twin Studies. Dr. Segal’s media appearances include Today, Good Morning America, 20/20, the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Martha Stewart Show, Discovery Health, and the Diane Rehm Show on NPR.