A pair of identical twins who were separated and sold as babies have been reunited after one recognised the other in a TikTok video.
Amy and Ano were born in Georgia in 2002, but stolen from their mother and sold on an illegal child adoption market thought to be linked to organised crime. Their mother, Aza, was told that her children had died.
One of the twins, Amy Khvitia, recognised her sister aged 12 when she featured on an episode of Georgia’s Got Talent. The other, Ano Sartania, became suspicious seven years later when a friend sent her a TikTok video of Amy and she noticed they looked similar.
The pair have since been united after a mutual friend connected them on Facebook, and they discovered they had been separated by an underground Georgian child trafficking ring, which sold babies into adoption from the early 1950s until 2005.
After they arranged to meet at an underground station in Tbilisi, Amy told the BBC: “It was like looking in a mirror, the exact same face, exact same voice. I am her and she is me.”
“I don’t like hugs, but I hugged her,” Ano added.
Their adoptive parents said they had been unable to conceive and had been offered adoption by someone at the Kirtskhi maternity hospital in Western Georgia. They said they did not know the practice was illegal.
The twins used a Facebook page dedicated to reunited lost children who had been trafficked to track down their mother, by connecting with their sister and taking a DNA test.
Their mother, Aza, met the twins in Leipzig and explained that she had fallen into a coma after giving birth, and was later told that they had both died.
Child adoption trafficking, which is believed to be linked to criminal gangs working with corrupt hospital officials, has died down since 2005, when Georgia changed the law on adoption and strengthened protections against the practice.
In 2022, the government launched an investigation into the scandal but told the BBC it had only spoken to 40 people who were affected because maternity records are “very old and historic data has been lost”.
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