Twins separated by Adoption

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Are you feeling sick whilst reading about the number of twins who have been separated at birth via intercountry adoption?! It’s wonderful that SOME are managing to accidentally find each other and reunite .. but think of how many aren’t!  Based on this recent article alone, it indicates 1500 sets of Chinese twins! What happens when you consider all the other countries of origin?

I am angry that these children (who grow up to be adults like me) are growing up robbed of their rights to their basic identity! The situation of twins being separated acts to highlight the gross Child’s Rights violations that intercountry adoption facilitates.

I place the blame squarely on the adoption agencies and the birth and adopting countries who are clearly not interested in the child’s rights but are doing adoptions as financial transactions. What is overtly wrong in these separations, are that adoptive parents are reportedly not even being asked if they want to adopt twins, nor are they being told the child is a twin! So they inevitably become complicit in the systemic child’s rights violations that occur for intercountry adoptees who are twins.

When will this stop? When will adoption agencies and countries who are a signatory to the Hague Convention on intercountry adoption, ever start to listen to what adult intercountry adoptees think of such practices and make appropriate changes?!

As you can read in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which every country has ratified except for the USA, it is against our fundamental right to split twins up from birth and remove all traces of our identity. Not only are we separated and not told, but agencies make no efforts to followup and enable the re-establishment of a twin’s identity even if they found out later a child had been a twin.  Knowing as I do, how important biological ties mean to us intercountry adoptees, I call it an outright crime that agencies and governments do little to remedy this situation.  After 60 plus years of modern intercountry adoption worldwide, we should not still be agreeing to “twins” being separated at birth without even notifying an adoptive family that the child is actually a twin or giving them this knowledge and choice.

The leader of the world, the United States of America has not yet ratified the UNCRC!  Would it be too much to expect that the world’s leading superpower who happens to trade (yes import AND export) the greatest number of children via intercountry adoption, actually follow through and enable these same children to retain their family relations via intercountry adoption?

Would it be too much to expect that Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) stand up and ensure that the Hague Convention for Intercountry Adoption finally take into consideration the views and experiences of intercountry adoptees themselves and make the changes necessary to prevent further abuses of fundamental child rights? This includes ensuring the UNCRC remains the foundation for intercountry adoptions.

Here’s a link to the  UNCRC and note for intercountry adoption situations, relevant articles are 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (directly relevant for deportation cases); 12 (for adoptees who are older), 20, 21, 25 (note the lack of this followup in intercountry adoption cases as post placement report is not sufficient), 30, 34 (for those who end up sexually abused in their adoptive families), 35 (for how we are sourced).

For twins, Article 8 is most relevant to what I raise awareness to in this blog.

1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.

2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.

6 Replies to “Twins separated by Adoption”

  1. Disgraceful, after all we’ve known about twins for decades. But then adoptees are not viewed the same when they’re adoptees. It’s all about the price.

  2. Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    Been going on about this for years. Still we see shameful practices. The latest public reunion engineered by an American Psychologist. Shame!

  3. There is no justification, now or in the past, for the separation of twins in adoption. I learned about this as a past practice when studying psych at uni, in the same context that I learned about Stanley Milgram’s obedience studies – as having produced valuable research but in a context that would be considered utterly unethical today and would therefore never be replicated. It is sometimes unclear whether these historical twin separations were motivated primarily by the desire to receive higher adoption fees, to satisfy two adoptive applicant families rather than just one, or to actually produce subjects for scientific research. In any case, it is indefensible. I always considered it an acronistic policy that ended over 50 years ago. Any adoption agency that misrepresents a child’s family status and knowingly separates twins should, as a minimum, be immediately prevented from any further involvement in child welfare.

  4. I assumed the SWI made decisions about assigning twins together or separately to adoptive parents. Many adoptive families have been hopeful to adopt twins but did not get them. What evidence do we have that adoption agencies in the USA or other countries made such decisions, rather than Chinese SWIs?

    1. It may not have been the SWI either as they didn’t make the assignments of the children to the parents. I understood the agencies got the referrals from China and were not involved in the referrals either

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