Parenting

My ‘twin’ boys were born six months and 900 miles apart – people think it’s crazy, but it makes perfect sense


Erin Clancy, 42, is a construction company owner and lives in New York, USA, with her husband Brian, 38, an electrician, and sons Dylan, 12 months, and Declan, six months.

Here she tells the amazing story behind the twins’ birth – one inside her own womb, and the other with a surrogate – who lived 900 miles away in Illinois.

Erin Clancy, 42 and twins Dylan & Declan - who were born six months apart and 900 miles away from each other

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Erin Clancy, 42 and twins Dylan & Declan – who were born six months apart and 900 miles away from each other
Dylan was six months old when his brother Declan, above, was born 900 miles away in Illinois

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Dylan was six months old when his brother Declan, above, was born 900 miles away in Illinois
Erin and husband Brian at Dylan's baby shower

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Erin and husband Brian at Dylan’s baby shower

“Holding my newborn Dylan in my arms, I couldn’t believe it. He was perfect. I couldn’t wait for him to meet his ‘twin’ who was due to be born in six months.

I met Brian in January 2016 on an online dating site. Handsome and caring, he was just what I was looking for.

Three years later, he proposed, and we married in September 2020. It was a beautiful day.

We started trying to get pregnant in January 2021, confident it would happen easily, which it didn’t.

That June, aged 39, I began IVF treatment.

The first round failed, and although the second was initially successful, I miscarried at seven weeks.

I was devastated, struggling to know what to do, especially as the medication for the cycles gave me horrible migraines.

That’s when our thoughts turned to surrogacy.

My baby 900 miles away

After lots of research, we registered with an agency, and in May 2022 we were matched with our surrogate, who lived 900 miles away in Illinois.

That August, my period was late. It seemed impossible, but I took a pregnancy test – and it was positive. I was scared and overjoyed, and couldn’t let myself believe this pregnancy would go full-term.

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Following both paths was our best chance for a baby, and if we ended up with two we’d be doubly delighted.

At six weeks, I began bleeding and was rushed to hospital.

A scan showed all was well, but I felt sure disaster was about to strike, so we decided to continue with the surrogacy, after telling her we were pregnant and asking if she was OK to proceed as planned.

Surely, we thought, we’d never be so lucky that she would become pregnant on the first try and that I would have a healthy delivery?

Following both paths was our best chance for a baby, and if we ended up with two we’d be doubly delighted.

In February 2023, we met our surrogate for the first time after having already bonded over video calls.

I stood by her side as our embryo was implanted.

Seven days later, my phone pinged with a photo of a positive pregnancy test.

Hands shaking, I called Brian. We had two babies on the way – we couldn’t believe it.

As the months passed, our surrogate was amazing, sending updates and videos.

It was strange to feel my baby kick and my bump grow, while my other baby was doing the same in another woman’s body.

But it was strange to feel my baby kick and my bump grow, while my other baby was doing the same in another woman’s body.

Although biologically they weren’t twins, that’s how I thought of them, plus they were both baby boys.

In May 2023, I gave birth to Dylan by C-section. It was a love I’d never felt before.

It was crazy navigating new motherhood, knowing our second son would be born in a few months.

I knew I’d love them equally, but would I be able to give them both the energy and attention they’d need?

That November, we flew to be by our surrogate’s side when she delivered our baby.

Dylan was six months old when his brother Declan was born.

I was the first person to hold him and couldn’t believe it – from the darkness of infertility, I was now a mum of two healthy boys.

‘It must be a scam’

The next day, the boys met for the first time, which was amazing.

But while I had the same love for Declan, he didn’t sleep and screamed a lot.

I was sure it was because I hadn’t carried him, and the guilt was awful.

Then he was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy aged two months, and everything made sense.

Strangers were confused as to how I had two babies, one six months older than the other. But it was online that things really blew up.

I posted on a forum about childcare, explaining there was a six-month age gap.

People went crazy, saying things like: ‘It must be a scam,’ and: ‘How is this even possible?’.

The boys have such a close bond. Dylan loves dancing and Declan adores our dogs.

When they’re old enough, I’ll explain how they became brothers.

I don’t care what people think of the journey we’ve taken.

I look at my two beautiful boys – my ‘twins with a twist’ – and I can’t believe they’re mine.”

Erin says people went crazy, saying things like: ‘It must be a scam,’ and: ‘How is this even possible?’

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Erin says people went crazy, saying things like: ‘It must be a scam,’ and: ‘How is this even possible?’
Erin and Brian celebrate their wedding

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Erin and Brian celebrate their wedding

BTW

  • The number of parents using a surrogate in England and Wales has almost quadrupled in the last 10 years.*
  • While commercial surrogacy is illegal in the UK, the surrogacy process can cost parents up to £80,000.*
  • Sources: *University of Kent and My Surrogacy Journey **Brilliant Beginnings



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