Indonesian girls put up for adoption separately reunite 29 years later
Twins born in Indonesia and put up separately for adoption, have been reunited after finding each other living just 40 kilometres apart, in southern Sweden, three decades later.
Non-identical twins Emilie Falk and Lin Backman -- strangers until last year -- were separated nearly 29 years ago.
Happy reunion: According to the DNA test, which Emilie Falk and Lin Backman did, there is a 99.98 per cent chance of them being sisters. Pic/afp
According to a DNA test the pair had done two months after reuniting in January last year, there is a 99.98 per cent chance of them being sisters.
A complex string of events led up to that revelation. Both were adopted from an orphanage in Semarang in northern Indonesia by Swedish couples, but there was no mention in either of their documents of the fact that they had a twin.
When Backman's parents left the orphanage with her all those years ago, the taxi driver had turned around and asked them, "What about the other one, the sister?" and they jotted the girls' Indonesian names down on a piece of paper.
Discrepancies The name helped Backman's parents track down the Falks back in Sweden, and the two families got together when the girls were babies to compare notes.
"They went through the adoption papers and there was a lot in the papers that didn't add up ... And there were no DNA tests back then," Falk said.
Among the discrepancies were different names for the girls' fathers. And although the records showed they had the same mother, the families decided that it was an error.
The two couples in the end wrote off the idea.
Although their parents had told them the story as children, both Falk and Backman later forgot about it. "But when I got married two years ago I started thinking about family and my adoption, and when I asked my mother she told me this story again, and I decided to look for Lin," Falk said.
Lot in common She had a name and began searching through a network for Indonesian children adopted by Swedish families, and found her on Facebook.
"I am born on March 18, 1983 in Semarang and my biological mother's name is Maryati Rajiman," Falk said she wrote, and quickly received the reply, "Wow, that's my mother's name as well! And that's my birthday!" They found they had a lot in common.
They are both teachers, they got married on the same day one year apart and even danced to the same wedding song.
"When Lin called me (with the DNA test results), I remember I was sitting in the car and when she told me I started laughing, because it just felt so strange," she said, adding:
"I suddenly started thinking that we shared a womb. It was really strange, but really cool too." Since then the two have kept in close touch, and have talked about going to Indonesia to search for their biological parents.
Asked if she wished she had found out about her twin earlier, Falk insisted "there's no use in being sad about something I didn't know about. I am only happy to have found her."