Something about having twins seems to attract the most probing and personal questions from complete strangers.
One particularly grating question is: “are they natural?”
This question is loaded with implied questions like:
“Did you use fertility drugs?” or “Did you have In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?”
Your struggles to have children (or lack there of) are really not the business of every random stranger that sees you at the store with your double stroller full of twins.
Despite your need for privacy and what would seem to be a reasonable and common sense thing of not asking such personal questions, you will get these and other similar questions.
People that ask you these questions don’t have twins. Deep down they hope they never have twins and therefore want to make sure you did something special to get twins. If you confirm you had IVF or some other medically assisted conception, it somehow reduces their “risk” of having twins.
Regardless of how your twins started their journey to birth and joining your family, you can answer this question from strangers and move on with your life.
In some ways the “are your twins natural?” question is a little easier to answer:
“Yes, they are natural. What’s an artificial twin anyway?”
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“No, actually they are cyborgs/robots/aliens/mutants.”
“No, they are supernatural!”
When asked directly about IVF or fertility drugs, your first reaction may just be disgust at the direct and personal question. You might just want to change the subject or redirect the conversation with these answers:
“You’ll never know”
“What do you think?”
“Can’t you tell by looking at them?”
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“Aren’t they wonderful?”
“My babies are miracles from God”
“Have a nice day.” – then walk away
When you’ve been questioned: “are they natural?”, how did you respond? Leave a comment and share your experience.
P.S. If you just want to wear a shirt to answer the question for you, pick up one at TwinTShirtCompany.com.
22 thoughts on “Are your twins natural?”
I didn’t get the “are they natural?” question but I did get asked if they ran in my or my wife’s family… in which I would just say yes, they run in her family… which they actually do. Just another round about way of asking about IVF but it didn’t bother me. I suppose it is a way to make sure they weren’t prone to having twins and validate their suspensions but I just chalked it up as general curiosity. Unsolicited questions and advice have floated to the surface with expecting children on the way and I don’t expect them to end once they are here, just take them with a grain of salt and try not to feel offended.
@Jason – we get the “do they run in your family?” question too. You’ve got the right mindset: don’t feel offended and you’ll be fine.
I have had the question and I give the answer, that it’s not in the family and it was natural. I also explain we’d been thinking of adopting because it hadn’t happened for 5yrs. It’s the most amazing thing that happened to me, why wouldn’t I be happy to talk about it?!
@Aengus – It sounds like you’ve been on a long journey to have kids, I’m glad that twins were able to join your family.
I work in a library. One day last year, I was asked by a regular patron (whom I do not know well), “How OLD are you? Did you do IVF?” I said, “I am 38 and those are very personal questions.”
@Rachel – it is a personal question, which is why it is so stunning that people ask it (especially strangers).
Never been asked that but always asled if.it runs in family. We didn’t use if but an extremedy minimal dose of fertility shot. Usually people don’t ask the follow up.question but I have no problem explaining. It was so tough getting kids so I am do happy to talk about the experience and my boys in any context!!
P.s. Joe I sent you an email about twins and car seats, check it out when u have a chance!
@Brian – fertility shot or not, twins are awesome. P.S. I replied to your email.
We have identical girls which aren’t genetic like fraternal twins and can’t be made with fertility drugs. When I get asked the probing questions I give them a brief biology course on how identical twins happen which results in confusion. I think it makes people a little uncomfortable about asking what goes on inside a woman’s body!
@Holly – yes, I don’t think they expect such a detailed response! We’ve shocked people that way too.
Im right there with Aengus and Brian. I never feel offended because Im not. Having babies is the greastest thing that has ever happened to me. Through the miracle of IVF, we were able to see and hear the babies heartbeats just weeks after implantation. I share this with everyone I know.
@Adam – thanks for sharing the miracle of how your twins joined your family. IVF is a huge blessing to those that haven’t been able to have kids before.
The one on the left is natural. I’m not sure about his brother.
@Damien – I like that response! Very clever.
We get this questions too sometimes and we are two dads. It’s very funny actually. Sometimes that question is followed by “How did you get them”? We like to then talk about US Open Adoption. I may start using @Damien’s response in the future if I don’t feel like talking. So good.
@Kevin – That’s great that the adoption route worked for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
“Are they natural?” – “Yes… I’m not sure but I think it just happened because we had sex twice in one night”
“Do they run in the family? ” – “They do now!”
And as father of identical twins I also give the biology lesson that “identical twins just happen sometimes – nothing to do with anything other than us being incredibly lucky.”
@James – I love your responses!
my response is “Do you mean carbon based?”
@Heather – that is pretty good!
Are they natural? “No they’re made of play-doh!’
@Sarah – nice reply!