Rebecca Romijn: Twins’ Birth Order Will Remain Secret

05/26/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Rebecca Romijn is enjoying watching an active Dolly Rebecca Rose and a cautious Charlie Tamara Tulip develop distinct personalities — however, the 16-month-old fraternal twin girls will never known if their differences are due to their birth order.

“This may sound strange, but [Jerry O’Connell and I] decided before they were born — I had a c-section so they both came out at the same time — that they wouldn’t know which one was born first,” the actress tells LilSugar.

“Technically one did come out first, but we feel like a lot of twins get to brag, ‘I was born five minutes earlier. I was born first,’ and the truth is they shared the womb.”

After talking their idea over with Romijn’s doctor, even Dolly and Charlie’s birth certificates don’t reveal the answer. “On their birth certificates they were born in the same minute,” she shares.

Eager to see if their elder daughter “naturally takes on that first sibling role,” Romijn reveals that, as of yet, each girl is gaining her own independence.

“They are both extremely strong-willed and neither of them seems to be in charge of the other at all,” she says. “They are young and developing … their relationship with each other so they don’t need to know that information.”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: Multiples , News , Parenting

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Showing 64 comments

Pinkdancer on

I completely agree with this! I have always thought it is really stupid when a twin brags that they are however many minutes earlier. I mean does it really make a difference? What were those minutes probably devoted to anyways? Getting the other one out, so it really all evens out.
Gorgeous girls!

JC on

Twins do it when they are younger. I don’t see the ones I know doing it now. I actually knew a set of twins that were born on different days (one right before midnight the other just after).

Sadie on

Pinkdancer, I guess your logic is lost on 6 or 7 year old twins lol

Kamie on

That’s exactly what we decided we were doing too, when my twins were born in 2007. Also, a c-section.

Kimmer on

Won’t they be able to tell when they look at their birth certificate?

Lauren on

Pretty cool…

Kimmer, did you even read the article?

Mac on

I’m sorry but being a twin myself I find this ridiculous. My sister and I never had a problem with who was born first. Contary to what Rebecca may think not EVERY twin born has an issue with birth order. In fact I would bet very many do not.

Alexa on

Haven’t you read the article?? It says that on their birth certificates they were born the same minute!

dani on

@lauren and alexa: here in california, it not only says what time you were born, but also your birth order if you’re twins, triplets, etc…or at least it did on my birth certificate from the 80’s.

Luna on

We really had to think about this exact situation with our twin girls. We’ve decided that we’re not telling them now, when they’ll brag about it, but when they’re older, if they ask, we’ll say “oh you were born 2 minutes before your sister.” But as of now, no one besides me, my husband and the doctors knows and no one’s asked. I’m not going to deprive them of ever knowing, but it’s really not a big deal.

Lauren on

In the article it says the birth certificates won’t reveal who was born first.

Jen on

I don’t see it as being that big of a deal. My mom is an identical twin, and I know she is the youngest of the pair, but it’s not like knowing that has made her feel like less than a person. It’s just my opinion that twins sometimes have enough to deal with in regards to not feeling like an individual (given the fact they have to share so much with their twin, like the birthday for example) I don’t think it hurts to have them feel some sense of individuality by being able to say they’re the oldest or the baby. (Not that the order means much in the grand scheme of life) but really, I’m sure you’ll never be able to rid your twins of things to pick on eachother about. It’s a nice thought in theory, but nothing something I think I would go as far as to get the doctor involved in and all of that. But they’re the parents, so what they choose for their kids is their business. Not sure if I had twins I would feel so strongly about such a matter.

Jess on

This is so crazy… As a twin, my sister and I only have to “brag” about who was born first when people ASK us, and we get asked all the freaking time! People are always joking, “So, who’s older?” Rebecca wouldn’t have any problems with her girls knowing who was technically born first until people start asking them all those annoying twin questions. Funny that she would think her girls would make a big deal of it when only OTHER people make a big deal of it! Nothing is worse than annoying twin questions – get ready, girls!

Alexis on

I’m a twin, and I can remember once crying about my sister always getting to do everything first, and it included the phrase “she was even born first,” lol. I was probably six or seven then, but now at 27 it’s not really relevant. People generally ask when they realize we are twins which one is older and we tell them. I can understand not wanting to tell the public, but not telling the kids themselves seems a little too secretive.

And JC, I have cousins whose certificates say they were born 8 minutes apart, one at 11:51pm, the other at 11:59 pm. Of course, the second part is a lie, she was actually born at 12:00am, but they amended the certificate to keep them on the same date. And no one kept that a secret, either, and there’s never been any kind of fall out with the kids about it.

A Little Coffee on

What a weird thing to insist on keeping a secret. I betcha this will piss them off and become a big deal that mom’s keeping the secret from them, JUST BECAUSE she’s making it into a big deal by keeping it a secret. Otherwise who cares?

Me on

A Little Coffee, I agree. SHE’S making a big deal of it, so it will be a big deal.

Chris on

The girls have a right to know. If it’s not a big deal, why not tell the truth on the birth certificates but not bring it up until the girls are old enough to ask for themselves? I’m surprised a doctor would tamper with a birth certificate anyway. These are vital records and legal documents. Weird.

Amanda on

That just seems so odd to me, like twins don’t share enough they also had to share the same birth minute on their birth certificate?
If I were to have twins (and there are plenty in my family so it’s possible) and I had to have a csection I’d like to ask for my csection to be just before midnight in the hopes that one could be born on one day and the other got a day of their own. I think the reason that is brought up so much with younger twins is looking for their place rather than just being ‘one of two’.

Boo on

That is absurd. My 13-year-old twins couldn’t care less about the 20 minute difference in their time of birth.

JMO on

Who really cares either way.

JC that almost happened in our family. My aunt had her twins on Jan 1 but went into labor Dec 31 and they joked about one of the babies being born in 1990 and the other being born in 1991 – both baby girls came a few minutes afer midnight on Jan 1! And I don’t even know who is older…they never talk about that nor I don’t think they ever have. It’s really not a big deal. It’s not like you have that much bragging rights. Oh I was born 1 minute before you [insert eye roll]! I think they only major issue they had growing up was not having people be able to tell them apart. I know that did bother them as little kids but I guess Dolly and Charlie being fraternal won’t have that issue.

jean on

falsfying a legal document? Proud of her…not

jean on

she and the doctor falsified 2 legal documents…nice…

Sarah K. on

lol, falisfying documents- exaggeration much? it’s a minute on a birth certificate. it’s not like she committed tax evasion or kidnapping.

Sadie on

I agree A Little Coffee.

And I’m surprised the doctor agreed to do it, not because it’s wrong but because it’s silly. lol But if Rebecca thinks it’s important for her girls to not know then I guess she has that right! Who am I to judge?

Laura on

I actually think this is a cute idea. Growing up, I knew a few twins and it was VERY important to them who was the older one and who was the younger one. I’m sure now that they are older, it makes no difference. but some kids do get stuck on the “I’m 3 minutes older” thing and who is to say that her kids wouldn’t be like that as well? I think when they are older, if they ask then she shouldn’t lie BUT keeping it from them isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Natty G on

Here in California my 2 year old twins’ birth certificates list the first born as an only child and the second born as having a sibling (even though they came out less than one minute apart). Even if the doctor was willing to fudge the time I don’t see how Rebecca and Jerry could sidestep that one…

Jordan on

Oh for heaven’s sake’s! What nonsense, I can’t believe any parent would purposely with hold this information so that kids “don’t brag” about their order of birth….It’s only natural that curiosity will kick in when the girls are older, hopefully these parents decide to end this ridiculous secret and just tell their daughter’s already. I have 5 month old daughter’s and there’s no way that thought would even enter my or my husband’s mind. Each to their own I suppose but in the great scheme of things, it’s hardly going to cause a life long feud if the girls find out who came out 1st!

Hazel on

I don’t know if Rebecca was serious or not, but being a twin myself, that was never a big deal for me. I remember people used to ask who was the oldest between me and my brother and I had no issue of saying I was the youngest. We were treated equally and he never had the upper hand because of a 8 minute age difference, lol.

meg on

Ok, seriously? What corny logic! I have a twin and we never were upset over who was born first, give me a break!

oseng on

my delivery was videotaped
my twins were a minute apart

Lacey on

A lot of what shes says bothers me and this is no exception. Not only is she lieing to her child(about something so peppy)but she also tampered with legal documents.

Kat on

I’m supposing she brought this up because it puts her back in the news, perhaps? I have twins, one born a minute after the other. We’ve not experienced any “issues” with this, as Rebecca seems to think she will have (she could be causing issues, in fact). One likes to be considered the older sister and the other likes being the younger sister. We make both of them feel special because of who they are NOT because of when they were born. It’s idiotic to do it otherwise.

Lorus on

My 9yo daughter has two sets of twins in her class and both of the “first” twins brag about being older. One is by 20 mins (vaginal birth) and the other is a couple minutes (c/s). I find that it happens more often than not that teasing/bragging does happen so I think it’s a good idea that they are listed as being born at the same time.

Carli on

So, if Rebecca decides to have another child a few years down the road, will she keep that child’s time of birth a secret too so her twins won’t “brag” that they’re older?

cris on


I don’t know much about C-Sections, so maybe someone could answer this, but is it possible that the birth certificate’s were not ‘falsified’ and that the babies actually were born within the same minute? In the actual article it reads differently “I had a c-section so they both came out at the same time”…

electra on

Is it THAT serious?

Al on

While our twins’ birth certificates clearly indicate that they were born 30 minutes apart, our 7 year olds have never asked who is older. Random strangers ask them, and me, ALL the TIME…. my response is “any other two people born on the same day are the same age”, which is only slightly less rude than “none of your business” or “how old are you and your siblings?”

My friends who are twins, sib-in-law twins, and twin cousins fought about their age difference throughout elementary and middle school, which is why we’ve chosen not to bring it up. The weird part of this article is the fudging on legal documents, not the decision to not make a big deal out of birth order.

Amber on

How odd. To each their own, I guess. But by saying that neither of them will know because they shared the womb…then why go on to mention that it will be curious to see if their elder daughter takes on the first born role…I thought neither was older since they “shared the womb”…Hmmm.

kate on

this is really not a big deal whether it is kept a secret or not. All parents have certain things they get insistent about and this is hers. Twins are a blessing and their bond will override all other issues I am sure, but she is just anticipating ways to neutralise the field if necessary in the future. If it promotes harmony then great. lots of blessings to them all

Allison on

I have twins and I never thought about doing that. I have three kids, so my twin that was born first is technically the middle child. And she is SOOOO the middle child. Even though she is only one minute older, she just plays that role.

I’m not too worried about them arguing about it, since they are boy/girl. Maybe if they were same sex I would have thought about it more. If anyone asks them who is older they just say they were born on the same day.

CelebBabyLover on

Carli- Rebecca has said multiple times that she and Jerry are happy with just two, and won’t have any more children. 🙂

Katie on

I am happy for Rebecca and Jerry. My fraternal twin daughters were born in the same minute. They are 5 now and “baby a” loves to brag that she came out first even though there is only a few seconds between them. I wish that we would have never told them their order.

Romy on

I find it odd, I would have spun it to make make both oldest and youngest seem like it is ‘better’ for different reasons. maybe it will be great for them, but I would tell them when they’re older if they really want to know. People have this yearning to know things about themselves, I think it is just innate. Possibly it will not be a big deal for them because they will just believe her that they came out at the same time until an older age. Maybe Rebecca and Jerry should have had the dr’s not even tell THEM which came out first and handed them the babies at the same time so the secret is on everyone!

Allie on

I have four year old twins and they have never asked! People ask me all the time, and I tell them. However when they ask my twins, they look confused and respond “We’re twins. We are born the same day. So we are the same age!” Which has worked out perfectly.
When they do ask though, I will tell them. I will just make it clear that being older by 36 minutes isn’t a big deal and visa versa.
The older twin is also not the first born, they have a sister who is 11 months older, so I’m hoping that helps!
I do think it’s important for twins to have a clear sense of identity, and I believe that by putting the same birth minute, when it’s false, doesn’t help that. Twins have a hard time as it is with also being grouped together, so it’s important to give them their own ‘minutes’ if possible. That is my outlook anyway.
My twins are identical, so I try to make sure they feel as independent as their four siblings. They each have their own birthday party, with their own cakes and their own friends. Just like their other siblings. Yes, it would be easier for me to group them together, but I don’t do it for their siblings, so I won’t do it for them. Yes they are twins, but more importantly, they are siblings!

Erica on

May ~ I agree 100%.

I am also a twin and this has NEVER been an issue between us. When we were kids, I may have joked that although we were twins, I was 18 minutes older, but the key is JOKED! Come on, this just seems silly… what difference does it really make one way or the other??

J-Lin on

Allie – So you have Irish triplets? That’s cool.

Don’t know what the big deal is. These are the frets of a person with way too much time on their hands.

Nicole on

I agree with Cris, no where in the article does it say she or the doctor falsified documents. It says she talked it over with him before her delivery, which could easily mean that he knew she wanted both girls delivered within the same minute. Even if the first was born at 11:02:01 and the other was born at 11:02:59, they were both born within the same minute and about “a minute” apart. Many women who have twins will say the babies were born “a minute” apart, but really it could have been slightly less than a minute but each twin was still born at a different time.

I have twin sisters that are 12 1/2 months younger than me, and let me tell you the “older” twin used her 5 minutes against the “younger” twin all the time! Usually so she could pick what she wanted first…first shower, first choice of clothes, first one to play a game….you name it, she did it! I think Rebecca’s idea is a very good one to put a damper on some of the sibling rivalry that could pop up later!

Angel on

Oh, puhleeze. Such a silly thing to worry about. I wish all my worries were this senseless.

Soreeta on

I’m a 37 year old twin and the birth order to my twin sister and I means absolutely nothing. Chances are its the parents focus on the birth order which causes the twins to have issues with it. I’m two minutes older than my sister. What’s two minutes difference going to do. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! We are who we were created to be, regardless of who was born first and who was born last.

Tess on

If she wanted it to be a secret, then she shouldn’t mention it in the first place. It sounds like she was the one to bring it up.

Even if the kids were born within the same minute, one is still born first, so I’m not sure what the big deal is in saying which one it is. It seems like a silly thing for a parent to worry about while pregnant/in labor, IMO.

Mari on

You can’t take both out at the same time so what is the difference who was the first? Both were ready to come out.

Sadie on

Lee, no one is calling Rebecca silly, only the situation. And even she said it may sound strange to some people.

bocaburger on

I am surprised they allowed them to be born the same minute, I thought it legally was needed for each to have their own!

LisaNZ on

I have 4 year old fraternal twin boys. In NZ, if they are twins you are required to state which is the first born. We haven’t told people who was born first, and the reason for that is not the boys themselves. It’s the adults around who want to be able to assign roles to each of them based on their birth order. “Oh he’s the older one so he’ll be the leader/ dominant” etc. We just want the boys to be able to find their own path and their own styles without being pushed into them by other adults around them. Our attitude is that they were born 10 minutes apart, and that means nothing at all in the gran scheme of their lives. They are children no 5 & 6, so the 4 older siblings are likely to make more difference than those 10 minutes. Oh, and so far neither is more dominant – it depends on what they are doing as to who takes the lead! Although like Rebecca says about her twins in another article, one is definitely more extroverted!

And interestingly, the questions I get asked tend to go in this order:

1. Are they identical?
2. Who is the oldest?
3. How many weeks did they spend in hospital? (answer – none! They were born at 39 weeks)

Twins and multiples seem to exert a real fascination for so many people, and that’s kind of special too.

Franny on

I think it makes a huge difference when they are identicals. There is always chatter with my twins at home the mantra That is not fair. We always think of fairness somehow. Strangers ask us all the time. It can be quite annoying. I tell them that they were born the same day and the same time. If they knew they would say you were born first, that is not fair. Folks who do not have twins do know. Adult twin friends of mine always say this even at 40 who are born first.

Karey on

(Eyes rolling). I bet her therapist told her this was a good idea. Perhaps since Rebecca doesn’t have other kids, she doesn’t realize that older/younger siblings who are not twins can compete in the same way with their ages. On a slightly sanctimonious note, the births of both of my children were miracles to me. I cannot imagine changing any sort of detail on any document. I want to remember things just as they happened, and I think my kids will too.

court on

I am a twin. I was born 10 minutes before my brother. My mother had us vaginally. Our birth times as well as twin is marked on our birth certificates.
I also know of a set of twins born via c-section on different days, in different years in different milleniums. Now figure that one out. Their birthdays are celebrated seperately.

CelebBabyLover on

Nicole- I agree! From what I’ve read, a lot of times twins born by C-section ARE born within the same minute!

Ashleen on

For god’s sake, this is so sillly. They make problems from nothing! In my opinion this is so silly! I am one if the twins, I have frieds who are one of the twins and we never had this trouble. It’s just so silly

Ashleen on

I think it is really a matter of how you raise your children. If you raise them to be spoiled brats then for sure it is better not to tell, cos there will be jelouse, but if you raisem them good, there will be no problem at all. They will love to be first or second born

Tess on

Court – one twin was born before midnight Dec 31, 1999, and one was born after midnight on Jan 1, 2000.

krj on

My kids are 19 months apart…but we’re not telling them who is older so no one brags. This was one of the silliest things I’ve ever read. The fact that they are soooo trying to keep this a secret, makes a mountain out of the smallest mole hill ever.

Lindsey on

I hope for their girls’ sake that they eventually tell them. I am a twin and even though my sister and I are only 30 seconds apart by c-section, it is something that sets us apart when so many things were shared. Also as somebody already mentioned, people will be asking the girls “Who is older?” and I suspect it will become annoying to have to explain to everyone that their parents didn’t want them to know. I also agree that the article implies that she and the doctor fudged the birth certificates.

Alice on

There is no way my parents could have kept my identical twin and I from knowing who came first (me, by 5 minutes) since it was in our baby books on our birth announcements, our beaded hospital bracelets that said Baby A and Baby B and also to differentiate who was the 5th child of 6 and who was the 6th child of 6. People did always ask who was the “older” twin and still do even though we are 52. My sister does like to tease me though that I turned 30, 40 and 50 before she did!