The tragic story of homeless twin sisters in Washington, D.C. has been met with anguished reactions from the Korean American community.
Korean broadcasting station SBS recently aired a one-hour documentary about the Korean American twin sisters living on the streets of our nation’s capital.
Mi-kyung and Mi-young, both 32, were only 6 years old in 1987 when their father Soon-hong Min sent them to an orphanage in South Korea. The twins’ mother passed away only three years after giving birth. Min, who struggled to make ends meet, decided to drop off his daughters at a local orphanage, where they were later adopted by American parents.
On their way to the orphanage, Min told his daughters that they will be staying with their aunt until he comes back to take them back home.
The twins were soon taken to the United States to meet their new family. However, they were often harassed by their adoptive parents, who they described in an interview last year with the Korea Daily as being heavily abusive. They said at the time that the abuse was severe, so much so that both were convinced a mysterious stranger kidnapped them to separate their biological family.
After being evicted from their home in Nevada due to non-payment in 2001, the twins moved to Washington, D.C., and began living in homeless shelters. They subsisted on food provided by local Korean American business owners who sympathized with seeing them on the streets of D.C. during the city’s harsh winters.
The twins were often seen at the Korean embassy begging officials to help take them back to Korea. Witnesses say that they were even planning on enrolling in the rehabilitation program for the homeless in hopes of one day reuniting with their family.
However, everything changed when the twins received a letter from Min last year. Min, after learning that his daughters had become homeless 26 years after he had taken them to an orphanage, wrote a letter to them asking for their forgiveness.
Having thought that they had been kidnapped for all these years, the twins were devastated by the truth that they had actually been abandoned by the very person they spent nearly all of their lives trying to find.
Since receiving the letter from their father, the twins cut all ties with the Korean American community in the D.C. area.
The documentary by SBS revealed a shocking truth that, in a few cases, adopted children end up in homes where they’re victimized by abusive parents.
According to statistics released by SBS in the documentary, the suicide rate of those who have been adopted are 3.7 times higher than average. Additionally, the rate of adopted children who later suffer drug abuse is 3.2 times higher than average while crime rate among adopted is also 1.5 times higher.