Woman Adopted From South Korea Finds Biological Family Through DNA Matching

Forty-four years after she had gone missing, a woman adopted from South Korea met her biological family for the first time, thanks to DNA matching.

They reconnected with the help of DNA matching

In 2016, Denise McCarty of Springfield, 46, decided to take a DNA test while visiting South Korea. She took advantage of the South Korean Government's new program open for U.S. adoptees, hoping that she could reconnect with her birth family through DNA matching. Her mother also registered with the program one year later. And then, in early October, McCarty received the news that she has been waiting for - she's got a match.

She was shocked to find out she has a twin sister

Days later, McCarty and her family got to meet for the first time through a video conference, 44 years after her family lost her. Meeting them for the first time surely was an emotional moment, but it got more interesting when she learned that she has a twin sister.

To her surprise, she and her sister do not only look alike but share many things in common. She said they have the same voice, similar taste in colors and foods, and they both love to travel and have the same sense of humor.

In 1976, McCarty, whose birth name is Sang-Ae, and her twin sister, Sang-Hee, went missing while at a market. While her twin sister was later found, her family never found MacCarty. She never saw her family again since then. MacCarty was taken to an orphanage, just two hours away from their village.

On Christmas Eve 1976, she was adopted by her Vermont family. All she knew was that she was abandoned at the hospital because she was sick. Her birth mother said that she never abandoned her, and she still has her registered in Korea as her daughter. In fact, she never left the village and even opened a business there, hoping that McCarty would one day return.

Speaking to WCAX, MacCarty said she felt sorry she got lost and had her family worry about her. She thanks her family, especially her "omma," for never giving up and constantly praying that they would one day get reunited.

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She also found out that her father became a heavy drinker ever since they lost her. He died of liver disease. Her grandmother had also passed away. MacCarty said she felt that her father and maternal grandmother were also there in spirit during their video conference. "I think that he made this happen," she said.

Seeing people that looked like her was the best part of their meeting, she said. She said she now has a huge family which she loves and loves her. She said she can't be happier and can't ask for more.

MacCarty feels she is now complete and would someday hope she can travel to South Korea and meet her family in the flesh.

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