Today’s daily prompt brings to mind an episode on 20/20 that aired recently. It was an astonishing tale of identical twins intentionally divided by a respected adoption agency in New York City and placed in separate homes.
None of the families were told and therefore, Secret Siblings were raised into adulthood without ever knowing that the other existed. That is until a former employee felt compelled to divulge the truth from her deathbed.
It’s the basis for the 2017 documentary by filmmaker Lori Shinseki entitled “The Twinning Reaction” and it exposes how twins and their unsuspecting parents were all the subjects of a study they were never given the choice to participate in.
At the time, their knowledge and consent was not required for these so-called professionals to go about conducting their true research. These twins continued to live apart as strangers analyzed them to track their progress over the years.
The adoptive families were all led to believe that the questions and note-taking were for general childhood development studies. But, they had no idea that the child they were raising was being compared to its identical twin somewhere out there.
Sets of twins were even deliberately placed with families of opposing socioeconomic backgrounds as a variable to factor and thus, not every twin reunion story turned into a happy ending. For example, learning of a sibling might also reveal a harsh truth as one sister told the other, “You had the better life.”
In others cases there was no longer a surviving twin around to even meet and many had suffered from mental health issues. It was also revealed by the loved one of a separated triplet (who ultimately committed suicide) that he simply could not get over the time he had lost with his brothers when they were young.
Also at a loss are the twins interested in reviewing the experimental data that was collected on them as children while another bizarre fact emerges.
The bulk of their records are sealed until 2066 and thus, any access to the files that were written about their own lives has not been granted. With the culprits for this unethical research long deceased, these families are unable to obtain the many answers they seek and at the very least, an apology for all of the damage their actions have caused them.
Finally, what some of these twins are left with is to speculate at length if any of their pain has come from simply being robbed of that special bond twins are known to share.