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Ann Hunt and Elizabeth Hamel, Twin Sisters, Reunite After 78 Years Apart

FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) - It's been 78 years since Ann Hunt and Elizabeth Hamel were last together - in their mother's womb.

The twin sisters were reunited last week for the first time since birth in Fullerton, California, thanks to a nudge from their children and help from a psychology professor, the Orange County Register reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1nbVonS).

Hunt, who lives in England, was given up for adoption and only learned she had a twin when she began looking for her birth mother after her adopted mother died.

Hamel, who lives in Oregon, always knew she had a twin but says she never thought she would see her.

"How lovely to see you in the flesh," Hamel said, as she embraced her sister at a hotel in Fullerton.

The women were to spend the next day undergoing testing at the Twin Studies Center at California State University, Fullerton, with professor Nancy Segal, who researches twins who were raised apart to better understand the role of genes and environment in human development.

Both women were born in Aldershot, England, in 1936. Their mother, a domestic servant, decided to give up one of the girls after their birth father fled. Hamel said she kept her because she was born with curvature of the spine, which would have made it more difficult for her to be adopted.

Hamel grew up an only child. She met her husband - a "Yank"- while stationed with the Women's Royal Enlisted Navy in Malta, and eventually moved to the United States. The couple had two sons.

Hunt was adopted by a couple, and was also raised as an only child. She didn't look for her birth mother until after her adopted mother died, and only learned a year ago she was a twin. Samantha Stacey, one of Hunt's three daughters, tracked down Hamel and sent her a letter.

The two women were soon talking on the phone. Hamel's son Quinton read one of Segal's books about twins and contacted the professor, who arranged the reunion. After undergoing testing in Fullerton, the sisters, who are believed to be fraternal twins, and cousins plan to spend a week at Hamel's home looking at old photos and learning more about each other.

"You wonder about someone and what they're like and suddenly they're here," Hamel said. "It's a shock."

"It's a shock and a joy," Hunt added.

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CardiotechPatty May 05 2014 at 7:21 AM

This was such a precious reunion! Imagine how they feel after all these years. Brought tears to my eyes. I hope you enjoy all your time together ladies. What a gift. I wish it had happened earlier in life, but you have each other now! Amen.

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malibumomma471 May 05 2014 at 2:06 PM

that is so wonderful!

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adika3z May 05 2014 at 2:21 PM

aww lovely twin sisters are so happy reunion again.
both are good happy healthly women.
keep both stays together forever.

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raptureready1958 May 05 2014 at 2:37 PM

Its a shame they lost a lifetime before they found each other again.

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obrienbec May 05 2014 at 3:20 PM

How awesome!! So happy for them!! I was adopted, I had three brother's , looked for years.Three years ago I found out 2 of the brothers had died, it broke my heart, I never forgot them or stopped loving them! I had hoped one day we would see each other!! I have been in contact with my youngest brother, however having grown up apart we are not really connected, we do care for each other and there is a love, but not a true connection at least not as it should be! I never have found my birth parents!! Being 67 the chances of that are slim to none :(!! I do love to hear the stories of family members finding one another!!!

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1 reply
BlahBlahBlah obrienbec May 05 2014 at 6:34 PM

I was adopted at age 6 and had 4 sisters. They found me about 12 years ago along with my bio mom. Two of the sisters had stayed with bio-mom and we other 3 were adopted out. The oldest sister had been murdered (drugs) a few years before the other sisters found me. That was heartbreaking because she was the one I remembered the most. I drove to Texas and met my youngest sister - and she was a coke head. The other sister lived in California with bio-mom and I never did get to meet her in person, but we spent hours on the phone and computer. She was bipolar and also a pothead, lol. The remaining sister had already met the other two, and wanted nothing to do with any of us. She apparently had a pretty decent life, lol. Me? I had a wonderful upbringing and a pretty decent life too. I'm very happy I was adopted, but never more so after meeting my bio family.

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1 reply
AOL9.7 BlahBlahBlah May 05 2014 at 6:43 PM

You were blessed and you know it, how wonderful for you to appreciate the life you are living.

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pjaywool May 05 2014 at 4:06 PM

This is so awesome - I need tissues! I read about it this morning and to see the video is icing on the cake! I hope they live many, many more years and can visit each other again. It's such a lovely outcome.

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cynbradley May 05 2014 at 5:50 PM

SWEET! As someone who had to find my father and then learned I had a brother and nieces, this is heart-warming. And, twins on top of everything else. May God Bless the ladies with some time to spend together.

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demyankee May 05 2014 at 5:56 PM

Very cruel to separate twin babies. They deserved to be together. These poor twins had to wait 78 years? Someone should have helped them meet decades ago. Adoptive parents dont like to face the fact that the adopted child has biological relatives.

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2 replies
janieturnage demyankee May 05 2014 at 7:19 PM

I am happy to see you use the word "adoptive" mother correctly. The news article stated "adopted" mother. The mother was not adopted by anyone unless the article left something out. If I happen to be wrong, then I apologize.

That being said, I am happy for the two sisters. May they live long, long lives in the company of each other. I have an adopted son who has given me three beautiful grandchildren, and I keep all of them as close to me as I possibly can.

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Newquest demyankee May 05 2014 at 7:43 PM

You're Completely Wrong! The single mother did the best she could and she kept one because she feared that because of a permenent health problem she might not be adopted. All the choices were up to the Birth Mother, not the adoptive mom.

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dancemom1 May 05 2014 at 6:07 PM

Very happy for them. Wish it was that easy to find my birth mother, who walked off and left 4 children (1 from a previous marriage), never to have contact with them again. God only knows how many other half sisters and brothers we have out there.

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dcrazysnake May 05 2014 at 6:31 PM

Twins should never be separated. It a sin.

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1 reply
AOL9.7 dcrazysnake May 05 2014 at 6:44 PM

Per our paper, the one the natural mother kept had a bad spine, the
natural mother feared she would not be adopted, she opted to
raise the baby.

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