Vermont woman reconnects with South Korean family after 44 years



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A Vermont woman who got separated from her family at a South Korean market when she was only 2 years old was reunited with her mother and siblings in a video chat 44 years later.

Denise McCarty, 46, of Springfield, said she has been searching for her family for years, and in 2016 she visited the country and took a DNA test as part of a program seeking to help Korean adoptees reconnect with their birth families.

McCarty received a phone call this month informing her that a match had been found and a few days later she spoke with her mother, brother and identical twin sister for the first time in a video call.

McCarty, born Sang-Ae, learned she was only 2 years old when she and her sister, Sang-Hee, became separated from their grandmother at Namdaemun Market in Seoul. Sang-Hee was found two days later, but Sang-Ae was taken to an orphanage two hours away and was not located by the family.

McCarthy said the U.S. couple who adopted her in 1976 were told that she had been abandoned at a hospital because she was sick.

Lee Eung-sun, McCarthy’s 78-year-old birth mother, said she never stopped looking for her long-lost daughter.

The family said they are now hoping to unite in person once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and international travel becomes safer.

UPI