Lifestyle & Human Interest

DNA Test Reveals Relative She's Never Met, Digs Deeper and Discovers Secret Twin Sister


Is the ancient proverb “blood is thicker than water” really true? Familiarity is often said to breed contempt, but family is family, and as the rash of stories about DNA-testing reunions reminds us, blood truly provides a strong bond.

Just consider the case of two women who didn’t know they were twins.

According to the a video put out by The Atlantic, the tale started with director Tim Wardle’s 2018 documentary, “Three Identical Strangers.” The film followed a trio of triplets who were separated early in their lives when they were adopted out to different families.

The movie purported to study the age-old nature-versus-nurture controversy, but what caught the attention of one viewer wasn’t the ancient philosophical question.

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Rather, Michele Mordkoff became fascinated with the agency that had facilitated the adoption, New York’s Louise Wise Services — the very agency that had handled her own adoption at the age of five months. The film highlighted how the agency had a habit of splitting up biological siblings.

“Something drove me at that point to take the DNA test,” Mordkoff said. “It really pushed me over.”

When the results came back, she and her adoptive parents were in for a surprise: Mordkoff had a living “immediate family member.”

“They are just as shocked as we are, if not more,” Michele explained to CNN. “They felt they were getting full disclosure and information about who we were and what our identity was.”

After a little bit of Facebook sleuthing, Mordkoff found herself staring at a picture on a screen of a young man’s mother, a man named Kyle Kanter. The woman with him looked amazingly like her.

Mordkoff decided to reach out to Kyle. “I kept it really low-key,” she stated.

“I said, ‘Hi, I’m adopted, and you matched with me, as well as your mom. Please write me back.'”

The woman’s name was Allison Kanter. Kanter recalled how her son had told her about Mordkoff’s message: “Mom, there’s someone [contacting] me that said they’re related to you … and you need to look at your birth certificate number right away and tell me what it is.”

“I didn’t know what was happening,” she said, “and then I read him the numbers — the last four numbers — and he said, ‘Mom … she’s your twin sister.'”

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“I think it was three weeks from the time that I found out I may be a twin to the time where I met Allison, and it felt like three years,” Mordkoff said.

Kanter added, “I was just hoping that she had a similar life to me, that we grew up in a very similar way, that it would be easy to get to know each other and that there wouldn’t be any animosity [about] how we were raised.”

After finally meeting her sister, Mordkoff concluded, “I think that sometimes in life, you have to accept the good and the bad, and this has been good. The disturbing part is why it happened and that things could’ve been different.

“But that being said, I’m thrilled. We missed out on what sisters should’ve had together, but that being said, we have each other now for future times together and happy occasions and [to] support each other.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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