BBC4 Twins: A World Apart

(19 Posts)
BelfastBloke Mon 04-Jul-16 22:18:17

When the Norwegian couple and the USA couple turned up to adopt in China, both of them had brought with them an identical red gingham dress.

They were assured that the girls were not twins, so they took their adoptees back to their respective countries.

DNA later proved they were twins.

BelfastBloke Mon 04-Jul-16 22:37:50

The danger with agreeing to do a documentary like this is that one person or one family can sort of be portrayed as 'the bad guys'. Or at least, the less virtuous ones.

That's tough, when both couples are just doing their best for their child. But the contrast sets up the viewers to be judgey, to evaluate.

The cultural differences are fairly large, and the situation highlights this so much.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 04-Jul-16 22:39:02

I watched it a while back, it's heart wrenchingly amazing!

hownottofuckup Mon 04-Jul-16 22:40:44

Both families seem lovely tbf.

BelfastBloke Mon 04-Jul-16 22:52:04

You're right, they do.

But one girl is pining, and the other has such a full life of 'distractions'.

At least in Norway she is likely to grow up with a good level of English - so she will be able to communicate better with her sister via Internet?

angelos02 Mon 04-Jul-16 23:03:58

I found it heartbreaking. I spent the second half of the programme waiting for some sort of compromise so that they could be together. Awful.

angelos02 Mon 04-Jul-16 23:05:20

Odd that the parents didn't ensure the twins learned each other's language

alltheworld Mon 04-Jul-16 23:10:37

If I remember rightly it was confirmed when the girls were around six months that they were twins but it seemed that neither set of parents would give their child up so the twins could grow up together.

FurryTrousers Mon 04-Jul-16 23:21:42

I basically cried all the way through this, for lots of different reasons.

There's an update on the FB page saying that they're making a follow up documentary at the moment.

BelfastBloke Mon 04-Jul-16 23:27:53

I read a critical article saying that one family should have given up their child; and that doing a DNA test after six months should not mean that the kids had already bonded with their parents: that growing up together is the most important thing, no matter what.

A PBS update also says the families have had a couple more holidays together since.

raisedbyguineapigs Mon 04-Jul-16 23:28:38

I didn't think they were pitching one family against the other. I think it depends on what you see. One girl had all the material things she could want and the other was surrounded by nature. I dont know how you would be able to tear one child away from their parent at 6 months and say they have to live with another. All I saw were 2 sets of parents doing their best with a very difficult hand.

raisedbyguineapigs Mon 04-Jul-16 23:30:20

Its easy to say when you are not in the situation and you are not the one that has to give up your child.

ThePigeon314 Mon 04-Jul-16 23:32:55

I don't know if I agree that one family should have given their child up. Which family? The poorer non-American family? is that what the article meant. I saw this on youtube a while ago I think. They will each grow up knowing the other is out there. It won't be long before the Norwegian girl is speaking good English I bet. And it wouldn't kill the American family to learn Norwegian???

AnecdotalEvidence Mon 04-Jul-16 23:38:28

I saw this a while back, it was an amazing programme.
Of course one of the families shouldn't be expected to give up their child!
And I don't think it would be that easy for the family in the US to learn Norwegian. You can only really learn a language if you can communicate with other people to be able to practice it. That would be much harder in the US. The sister in Norway will learn English at school and there are people around, including her parents who can also support her.

BelfastBloke Tue 05-Jul-16 00:00:05

No the article was not suggesting that it should be the Norwegians who gave up the child.

The article was just very hardline about how devastating it is for twins to be separated, and that should be the primary focus.

It was also very critical about the whole issue of Chinese adoptions to Western families in general, and the way humans are being 'bought' and 'owned'.

Other internet browsing reveals more stories like this: a success story where two families made it work for siblings to be together really really often (one family moved); and a sad story where one family cut off communication with the other, a few years after the kids had bonded.

BelfastBloke Tue 05-Jul-16 10:16:45

Adoption is so complex.

These two girls have to focus on learning about each other's US and Scandinavian cultures. Meanwhile, that doesn't leave much room for learning about Chinese culture, does it.

MoonfaceAndSilky Tue 05-Jul-16 10:23:12

The American twin had so many after-school activities, I don't understand why her parents wouldn't have got her a Norwegian tutor, so she could communicate with her sister, even if it's only over the phone sad

raisedbyguineapigs Tue 05-Jul-16 11:11:55

Maybe a relaxation of the Chinese one child policy will lead to fewer girls being left to die on mountainsides, but the reason there is such a 'market' for want of a better word is the misogyny of the society they were born into and government policy. Yes, large scale Western adoptions of Chinese girls some would say in an ideal world would not happen. In an ideal world twins would not be separated, but children grow up while these problems are being addressed.

alltouchedout Tue 05-Jul-16 11:17:01

It was very interesting, especially seeing the contrasts in lifestyle. And very sad too. But both sets of parents clearly love their child hugely and care very much about the other sibling too. I don't think either family fails to recognise that the girls are torn between wanting to be together and wanting to be with their families and they seemed to me committed to keeping their relationship alive.

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