Twins Reunited After 14 Years

Mother claims doctor stole second child, never told her she had twins.

ByABC News via logo
July 15, 2007, 8:30 AM

July 15, 2007 — -- For the first 14 years of her life, Andrea Penaherrera never knew she had a sister.

But on one day four months ago in the in the southern Ecuadorean town of Milagros, she and her mother were shocked to walk into a restaurant and see across the room another face that looked just like Andrea's.

The girls had the same hair, eyes and were identical in every way.

It didn't take long for Andrea and the other girl, Marielisa, to realize that they were twins, separated at birth.

Across the globe, the discovery generated headlines, in part for how the two girls met. But, there was another twist -- the alleged story of how the two were separated in the first place.

The girls' biological mother, Petita Penaherrera, said doctors never told her she had twins.

She claimed when the babies were delivered, she was told she had given birth to just one, and said she believed the doctor took the second child and raised it on his own.

Roberto Romo, one of the doctors who delivered the girls, disagrees with Penaherrera's version of events. He claimed she knew of the twins, but decided to give one away because she was a teen mother, unable to take care of two babies.

The sisters said they are thrilled to be reunited, though Marielisa said she wants to remain with her adopted family.

However, Marielisa's biological mother and her husband Augusto Freire want Marielisa back, and a court will soon decide her fate.