Like many, we watched the live reunion of twin girls that had been separated by adoption on Good Morning America. Both girls had been adopted from China and had been placed in homes in America without knowing there was another sister out there. The full story of how their families discovered the truth was highlighted on Good Morning America on January 11th, 2017.
The full video of the “live reunion” segment can be seen below:
While we share in the joy of this reunion, the choice to air this on national television, promoted this letter to the Senior Executive Producer of Good Morning America:
January 17, 2017
Senior Executive Producer
Good Morning America
47 West 66th Street
New York, NY 10023
Re: “Twin Sisters Separated at Birth Reunite Live” 1-11-2017
Dear Mr. Corn,
We are writing you in regards to the segment shown on Good Morning America on January 11, 2017, “Twin Sisters Separated at Birth Reunite Live.”
As the organization that provides advocacy and support for kinship, foster and adoptive families in New York, we do applaud GMA for bringing attention to adoption. We especially feel the need to say thank you for highlighting the issues surrounding the wrongful and often heartbreaking separation of siblings during the adoption process.
That said, we do have concerns this segment. An adoption reunion is a highly charged and often conflicting emotional situation. Even under the best of circumstances, reunions are very intimate affairs and should not be made into fodder for ratings. While there are adult adoptees who choose to go that route, these girls were minors and had no choice nor say regarding the venue. Having the added pressure of multiple cameras, millions of viewers and an immediate interview after the fact gave them no time to even begin processing the very complex emotions.
While it was wonderful how GMA facilitated bringing the two families together, the families, and especially Aubrey and Gracie, would have been better served had they been allowed to meet each other for the first time privately and then given the opportunity afterwards to tell others about it.
We hope that in the future, Good Morning America’s producers will consider these thoughts and balance sharing adoption reunions with the space and privacy required for the betterment of those involved.
Should you have any questions now or in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.
Richard Heyl de Ortiz
To learn more abut the Coalition’s advocacy efforts, please visit our Advocacy page.