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Strangers Become Sisters as Twins Reunite

Paula Bernstein (left) and Elyse Schein are identical twins who were separated as infants and adopted by different families.
Paula Bernstein (left) and Elyse Schein are identical twins who were separated as infants and adopted by different families.

Separated in infancy and given up for adoption, Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein grew up unaware that they had an identical twin. Their new memoir, Identical Strangers, chronicles their story of separation, reunion and identity.

Records from the adoption agency indicate that the identical twins' separation and adoption placement in the late 1960s was connected to a psychological study investigating the effects of nature versus nurture.

Schein and Bernstein were reunited in 2004, after Schein's quest to find information about her birth mother led her to discover that she was a twin.

"Imagine a slightly different version of you walks across the room, looks you in the eye and says 'hello' in your voice..." Schein and Bernstein write.

"Looking at this person, you are able to gaze into your own eyes and see yourself from the outside. This identical individual has the exact same DNA as you and is essentially your clone. We don't have to imagine."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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