Adopted at birth, Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein both grew up separately in warm, caring households. But the only person who knew that they were twins were researchers who purposefully separated them at birth in a secret research study on nature vs. nurture in identical twin siblings. According to NPR, at 35, Paula was trying to find her birth mother when the adoption agency dropped a bomb: she had a twin. She contacted Elyse, and the two met in their hometown of New York City for the first time in 2004. "How do you start asking somebody, 'What have you been up to since we shared a womb together?' Where do you start?" Bernstein told NPR. Eventually, the study proved so controversial, renowned child-psychologist Peter Neubauer chose not to publish. Today, New York state requires adoption agencies to make sure siblings stick together.
Photo courtesy of Random House