I Finally Watched 'Three Identical Strangers' Documentary and...Yikes

I heard about the “Three Identical Strangers” documentary about the same time everyone else did, and I promptly avoided it like I do most media stories about adoptions. All I knew is that it was a fucked up story about adopted triplets and I knew it would make me angry. So I didn’t watch it when it was released.

However, I kept hearing great reviews from people and so when earlier this week, it popped up on my Hulu feed, I decided to give it a look. I can always shut it off like I did that terrible “Abducted In Plain Sight” documentary. I ended up being pulled in by to documentary and when it took a turn, whew chilllayyyy, I was stressed.

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For those of you who don’t know what it’s about (spoilers ahead), the film interviews adopted triplets and their adoptive families. The triplets were separated at birth and adopted into different families. The families and brothers had no idea about each other. The boys, David, Eddy and Bobby eventually reunite by accident in college. Two of them found out about each other, it became national news with their photo everywhere and the third sees the photo and boom everyone is reunited and having a great time. While the boys were worldwide news doing tv shows and media circuits, the parents started to get suspicious and wanted some answers from the agency. They were all adopted by the same agency, so the parents visit the agency to start asking questions, they didn’t get anywhere. Eventually, a reporter who was covering the story about the triplets reunification, started digging and came across a study that separated twins and placed them in different homes, so they could conduct experiments. And from there, you can probably piece together what happened. Turns out, yes this was done intentionally, they were purposefully placed in three different homes, one high class, middle class and lower class, and specifically homes that also had an older adopted sister in order to study what exactly? Well we never really find out a clear answer. All three boys struggled with mental health issues throughout their lives (which many speculate was the subject of this study) and eventually Eddy committed suicide. The documentary follows the other two boys on their quest to figure out what the hell this study is for and why. But they never get answers, the study is locked and not to be released until 2060 something or other. In the end notes of the film, we’re informed that after this documentaries release, the remaining boys were actually granted access to the study but it didn’t really answer any questions.

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So, that’s where we are left, with more questions than answers. This is a very well done documentary. I very much liked that it was all a first hand account of the adoptees and their families. While the subject is obviously terrible and terrifying, I think it is an important topic that needs to be discussed more. I do not think this is something of the past. I 100% believe this type of thing still happens today. More importantly, I think it’s vital to shatter this image of adoption that currently exists. This idea that adoption is all rainbows and butterflies. A place where everything is perfect, happy, ethical and everyone farts rainbows. Most of us involved in adoption already know, this image is a lie. The current adoption industry is very dark and unethical. There are too many loopholes in the system that allows for things like this study to be legal. There are no checks and balances in adoption, so these agencies can get away with doing pretty much whatever they want for whatever reason. There is a reason why the adoption/foster industry is closely linked to human trafficking. 60% of all child sex trafficking victims have histories in the child welfare system. That is WAY TOO HIGH PEOPLE!

Anyways, my point is, this story is bonkers, but it’s an important one that needed to be told. This isn’t a one off situation folks, this type of unethical decisions are being made every day in the adoption industry and we need to start paying attention.

How I Found My Biological Family & Tips For Your Search

Around this time (well, in November) 2 years ago, I started the search for my birth family. It was a tough decision to make, I put it off for years, not feeling that it was the right time, and partially afraid of the unknown. I decided to go about this alone, I didn’t want the involvement of my parents, and with only knowing the name of the agency and the first name of my birth mother, I began a several month long search. Having been through this process myself, I decided to share my experiences and provide some tips that may help others on theirs.

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5 Ways To Participate in National Adoption Month Without Being Selfish

As some of you may know, National Adoption Month takes place every November, which is right around the corner. The purpose of this month is supposed to be to raise awareness of adoption and foster related issues. However, from my experience it seems to have turned into a month for adoptive parents to pat themselves on the back. This is not something that sits well with me as an adoptee. The way it’s commonly celebrated is why I don’t tend to care about it much. Everything seems to be focused on the parents, as a result, adoptees are silenced and left out of our own experiences. Now, I’m not saying you can’t celebrate your adoptee, but how about you ask them if they even want that first and include them in the planning process?

Not to worry though, I’m here to provide you with some different ways you can actually help flip the narrative and be less selfish this National Adoption Month.

Talk to Your Adoptee

Wild, I know, but we can actually communicate and do have thoughts and opinions. Why not talk to the actual person who is adopted and see how they would like to acknowledge this month? Come up with something as a family that y’all can do together every year.

Educate Yourself and Others

Whether you’re an adoptive parent or not, everyone should be trying to learn at least the basic of the adoption experience. Share information about adoption, read some books about adoption you’ve never read before. Challenge yourself to do more research on a specific topic you want to know more about. After you do that, share that information with family and friends. Even reposting a link on facebook, helps get the information out there.

Join A Local Event

See if there are any local events happening around your area your whole family can participate in. This website lists some Adoption Day events that happening around the United States. If you can’t find one near you, consider hosting one yourself or with a few friends for you local community.

Volunteer or Donate

Find an organization that is doing work in the adoption and foster community and see how you can contribute. Find ways to actively do work in the adoption community and if there is nothing local, you can always donate to a cause.

Highlight Adoptee Voices

Uplift and share the voices of those who are unheard in any situation. We’re talking about adoption and for some reason the key piece in the whole process, adoptee, are always the ones pushed to side and forgot about. Challenge yourself to highlight our voices and share our stories. Use your privileges and platforms to give those who don’t have one, a boost. You should be doing this more than one month out the year but, it’s a start at least.

Basically, just don’t be selfish this National Adoption Month. Try to put yourself out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to raise awareness and get educated.


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