‘Double Mommy’ Is More Real Than You Think

by Laura Rosenfeld

I think we can all agree that moms are pretty great. So when I first saw the title for the new LMN movie premiere Double Mommy, which debuts on the network on Friday, March 31 at 8 p.m. ET, I thought to myself, Awwww, isn't that nice? The only thing better than having one mommy is two, right? But of course, I know by now to expect something a bit more scandalous from Lifetime movies, and I wanted to know if Double Mommy is based on a true story, too.

So I did a little bit of research and quickly realized that Double Mommy is not at all as pleasant of a movie as it sounds. Here's the full synopsis of the film via LMN's website:

After taking a break for the summer before their senior year, Ryan and Jess rekindle their relationship, and find out that Jess is pregnant with twins. When Ryan's mother demands a paternity test, they find out that Ryan is only the father of one baby... The other father is Ryan's best friend Bryce, who Ryan discovers date raped Jess at a party over the summer. With college recruiters and an overbearing father looming over Bryce's head, he will stop at nothing to make sure that he clears his name--even if it means getting rid of Jess and her babies!

There's no indication in that synopsis or anywhere else that Double Mommy is based on a true story. Since movies that tend to take inspiration from real-life events usually make note of that sort of thing, it appears that Double Mommy is purely a work of fiction.

But that doesn't mean that something like what happens to Jess in Double Mommy, i.e. giving birth to a set of twins with different fathers, can't happen in real life. Medical research, such as this 1994 study, has shown that if a woman has sex with two different men close together within the same ovulatory period, it can result in bi-paternal twins, which is known as heteropaternal superfecundation, according to The Washington Post. In this case, when a woman releases two eggs during ovulation, which normally results in fraternal twins, each egg is fertilized by a different man's sperm. Since sperm can live inside a woman's body for up to five days, it's possible that she could have sex with two different men and then have her eggs released within that time period to fertilize two eggs for bi-paternal twins. Though bi-paternal twins are extremely rare, they're still possible, and this just goes to show you that the premise of this LMN movie isn't so far-fetched, after all.

Still, this phenomenon is pretty amazing, so of course when there are cases that occur in real life, they tend to grab headlines. Pairs of fraternal twins with different fathers have been confirmed in Texas in 2009, in New Jersey in 2013, and in Vietnam in 2016.

Given the rarity of heteropaternal superfecundation, it's no surprise that twins with two different dads isn't the most common movie trope. But you will see some similar storylines in other flicks if you think that what goes down in Double Mommy is just too fascinating.

For starters, let me just warn you not to confuse Double Mommy with Double Daddy, which previously aired on Lifetime. This film concerns a teen who impregnates two classmates and then has to pull double daddy duty while juggling the usual high school drama.

Of course, movies where children or parents search to identify the father of a baby are all too common in Hollywood. You've got Bridget Jones's Baby, Mamma Mia!, and in the upcoming movie Bastards, Owen Wilson and Ed Helms' characters will go on an eventful road trip to find their real dad, who they originally thought had died from colon cancer when they were very young.

But I have a feeling that Double Mommy is going to be unlike any movie that's come before it.