Twins reunited after a lifetime apart


Emily Lavin- Staff Writer, Photo courtesy of Allison Kanter and Michelle Mordkoff

“Three Identical Strangers” is a heartbreaking documentary about three brothers, David Kellman, Bobby Shafran and Eddy Galland, who were separated at birth. Nineteen years after the triplets’ separation, two of these boys miraculously attended the same college and discovered their true background. Soon after, an article about their newfound relationship was published, and the third brother recognized the photos and made the connection that he too was connected to this story. The documentary highlights the boys’ journeys and addresses the scandal of separating siblings at birth, something that is unfortunately very common. According to the Los Angeles Times, many children, including these triplets, were split up and placed in different households as a part of a socioeconomic experiment in which researchers analyzed how individuals with the same genetic makeup thrived in different environments. According to Newsweek Magazine, child psychiatrist Peter B. Neubauer was the lead director of Louise Wise Services, the Jewish adoption agency in New York that separated the triplets.

The CHS campus has also been rocked by this experiment: the mother of senior Callie Kanter has recently found out that she was separated from her own twin at birth. Being adopted at six months old, Allison Kanter was never aware that she had any biological siblings. Over the summer, Allison noticed an unusual email in her inbox. Originally she believed it to be a spam email, but to her surprise, it was from her long lost sister Michelle Mordkoff.

Since Allison was under the impression that she was an only child, the possibility of hearing from a sister was just short of incredible. Allison and Michelle were adopted within two days apart from each other through the the same agency and in the same year as the triplets in “Three Identical Strangers.” After watching the documentary, Michelle was inspired to create an account on to explore the possibility of having biological family members. To her surprise, she matched with Allison; without the creation of “Three Identical Strangers,” Allison and Michelle may have never found each other.

Both Allison and Michelle still have so many unanswered questions about what took place in the Louise Wise Services around the year of 1964. In their mini documentary created by Tim Wardle, the producer of “Three Identical Strangers,” Allison and Michelle reassured that they plan on doing everything in their power to uncover their true stories. The sisters, along with everyone who knows their story, are troubled by the fact that that someone toyed with their family and their fate, and they cannot begin to understand why they were split up to begin with.

“Considering our circumstances, it is a miracle to have found my twin sister in the first place,” said Allison Kanter. “Words cannot describe how eager I am to get to know her.”

The twins will continue to keep in touch and build a strong bond despite the many years they spent apart. Although they wish they could have been in each others’ lives sooner, Allison and Michelle could not be happier to finally be reunited.

“It is so crazy to think all this time I have had family living in New Jersey that I had know idea even existed,” said senior Callie Kanter. “I have never seen my mom so happy before.”

Allison could not wait to meet Michelle. She flew out to New York as soon as she could to meet her and her two sons. The first time meeting each other was quite an emotional day for the sisters. In their documentary, they could not get over how much they look alike. Based on a mini documentary, created by the same people of “Three Identical Strangers,” of the sister’s meeting each other for the first time, they compared hands, arms and face; the similarities were overwhelming. Although meeting a twin for the first time can be intimidating, this was a day they were always going to remember.

“I know she might technically be a stranger, but I feel like I have known her my whole life,” said Allison Kanter.

Although it might be many years late, the Kanter family is forever thankful that they were able to find each other at all and are looking forward to making future memories.