United States Army veteran, Allen Thomas, has been reunited with his twin children after trying to find them for over 40 years.
Allen Thomas, who is now 68 years old, fathered fraternal twins, Sandra and James, while serving in South Korea in 1967, but he had to leave them and their mother to return to the United States in 1969 when his military tour ended.
In 1976, Thomas lost contact with the twins after their birth mother, Pae Seong-Kuem, put them up for adoption without telling him.
That is when Thomas started a search for his lost children that would last 40 years.
Earlier this year, Thomas posted a few old photos that he had of the twins on Facebook and started a Facebook group to help him search for them.
Thomas’ Facebook post was shared by more than 1 million people and got the attention of ABC News.
ABC News contacted Pamela Slaton, a famous investigative genealogist, as well as their South Korean news outlet for help with the people search.
Thomas was reunited with his son and daughter several months later after ABC’s people search team successfully found the twins.
Thomas was a 19 year old sergeant in the army when he met Seong-Kuem in South Korea in 1966. Seong-Kuem became pregnant with the twins shortly after they met.
After the twins’ birth in 1967, Allen and Seong-Kuem got married.
The family had originally planned to move back to the United States when Thomas’ military duty ended, but Thomas had problems getting a passport for Seong-Kuem.
Thomas returned to the United States alone, hoping to resolve the passport issues when he got home.
When he still could not resolve the passport issues in the United States, Thomas signed up for a military assignment in Vietnam to be closer to his family.
However, his marriage to Seong-Kuem deteriorated. The Army wanted Thomas to come back to the United States, but Seong-Kuem didn’t want to return with him and she wouldn’t allow the children to leave South Korea.
In 1973, Thomas got a default divorce from Seong-Kuem.
In 1974, Seong-Kuem sent a letter to Thomas offering to let him have custody of the twins, if he would travel to South Korea to get them. However, Thomas was not financially able to make the trip to get his children.
Thomas never heard from Seong-Kuem or the children after that.
Thomas asked the U.S. State Department for help with finding the twins in the 1980s. The State Department found out that the twins had been adopted by a family in the United States in 1976.
However, Thomas was unable to find out any more information on the location of his children at that time due to adoption privacy laws.
Now, thanks to Facebook, ABC News and some people search professionals, Thomas has finally been reunited with his son and daughter. Their family reunion aired on ABC’s 20/20 last Friday night.