My Two Doppelgangers


I don’t really have two, or even one, doppelgängers, but over the last four years, people have been telling me and J how much our kids look like us. This includes people who know we adopted, and people who don’t. Strangers will tell me they can tell that BE and I are mother and daughter. Friends will tell us they’re surprised at how much we look alike. A friend, who has known my kids since the adoption, told me a few weeks ago that we’ve become more alike over the years. And it doesn’t seem to matter that both my kids have blond hair while J and have brown hair.

This made me wonder if there is any evidence that adoptive families really do begin to look alike over time. I couldn’t find any evidence to support it, but I did find some studies involving married couples. One study, described on, explains that couples often do begin to look alike. The site shared four possible explanations, with one that was selected as the most probable. Here’s an excerpt:

“People grow to look similar because they are empathizing with each other and so copying each other’s facial expressions. Over time because of all the empathizing they are doing, their faces come to look more similar.”

I’d like to think that I’m empathizing with my kids, but of course I don’t really have any proof that this is the reason we’ve come to look alike, or even that we look alike at all. Another problem is that the study involved couples who have been married 25 years. We’ve only known our kids four years. Maybe we’ll have some proof that the study applies to us in about 21 years.

If you’re part of an adoptive family, do you look like your adoptive relatives? Tell us about it in the comments.


I still don’t think we’d win.