Twin sisters separated at birth and reunited by social media release book

October 31, 2014
Sam on left, Anais on right (Courtesy of Penguin Random House)

Sam on left, Anais on right (Courtesy of Penguin/Putnam)

By Tae Hong

Last year, two 25-year-old women on opposite sides of the globe were shocked to find they had a twin in each other, unknowingly separated by adoption, thousands of miles and more than 20 years.

The Hollywood tale — a fitting one, given Samantha Futerman’s career as an actress in Los Angeles — quickly became an Internet sensation, one of Facebook’s Top 10 Stories of 2013.

Now, less than two years after their reunion, the sisters have written a book about their unlikely tale in “Separated @ Birth,” released this week by Penguin/Putnam.

(Penguin Random House)

“Separated @ Birth” (Penguin/Putnam)

Here’s a recap of what’s happened to Anais Bordier and Samantha since February 2013:

Anais, a fashion design student in Paris, was sent a photo of Samantha by one of her friends, who noticed how similar the two looked. Before long, she’d found and spotted her lookalike in a trailer for the film “21 & Over.”

Samantha Futerman, a simple Google search revealed. Same birthday, same birthplace, same face.

On February 21, 2013, Anais set her mind on contacting Samantha via Facebook in what would be a life-changing message.

“So…I don’t want to be too Lindsay Lohan, well…but…how to put it…I was wondering where were you born?” Anais wrote to Samantha, explaining her suspicion that they might be related. She ended her message with, “Let me know…don’t freak out…Lots of Love, Anais.”

The message, and its potential implications, floored Samantha. Five days after the Facebook message, the girls were each at their laptops for their first Skype session.

It didn’t take long for them to find a connection. The conversation lasted three hours. Twins, indeed.

A DNA test in Korea confirmed it months later.

Anais shouldn’t have worried about Lindsay Lohan — the 90s Disney classic starring the oft-troubled actress, “The Parent Trap,” has nothing on Anais and Samantha.

After all, they’ve been physically reunited. They’ve made a documentary, “Twinsters,” about the experience, which began on crowdfunding site Kickstarter to great response and which is now in post-production. They’ve traveled to South Korea together to attend an international Korean adoptees conference.

 Sam on left, Anais on right (Courtesy of Penguin Random House)

Sam on left, Anais on right (Courtesy of Penguin/Putnam)

And now they’ve written a book.

“Separated @ Birth” is more than a rehashing of the story already told and shared thousands of times. It’s a blend of two personal histories coming together, a portrait of twins whose two different lifestyles and two different continents still failed to take away their natural similarities, from food preferences to childhood hairstyles.

The onslaught of press and the volume of responses that descended upon them may have been overwhelming last year, but Anais and Samantha are already embarking on new adventures together to make up for lost time.

Samantha told The Korea Times through an email interview that they’re focused on finishing “Twinsters,” which she had a hand in directing and producing alongside editor Jeff Consiglio. The documentary is slated to be completed in December.

“It’s a true family film over here,” she said. “Anais is viewing the film and approving everything! We want to make sure that our story is told honestly, and we cannot wait for our book readers to see the documentary.”

The book, too, is a family affair — written in alternating chapters between the sisters, it explores everything from their first physical meeting to delving into their roots in South Korea.

“I wanted to make sure I was telling our story correctly,” Anais said. “Sometimes it was a bit intense, as re-living the situations can be quite emotional.”

They’re not done yet — work on co-developing a non-profit foundation, Kindred, to help adoptees and orphans is underway.

“We received many messages from adoptees letting us know that we had inspired them to continue searching for families,” Anais said. “And that made it all worth it.”

“Every child deserves to have a home,” Samantha said. “Family has no boundary — this is the motto for our non-profit. Let’s continue to place children into loving homes.”

Anais has started working for Gerard Darel as a junior designer in Paris, while Samantha remains in Los Angeles as a working actress. The twins may still be miles apart, but they’re no longer strangers — they’re sisters.

“Anais and I will get a chance to work together artistically, I know it,” Samantha said. “We hope to continue on our journey and live the next three-fourths of our lives in happiness and bliss.”

“I’ll design all of her dresses for the red carpet,” Anais said.


  1. ANN

    November 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    I am happy to meet you, i want us to be friend, My name is ann, You can
    write me through my e mail here I wait to hear
    you soon.Kiss

  2. Pingback: ‘Twinsters’ documentary to show in LA Asian film festival – The Korea Times