Govt says identical twins 'not related'
A WA woman has been told by Australian authorities that she's not related to her identical twin sister.
Rosabelle Glasby says she is ``shocked and saddened'' she cannot bring her sister into the country to live because the Department of Immigration and Citizenship does not consider the pair to be related.
Adopted by different families shortly after their birth in Malaysia, Mrs Glasby and Dorothy Loader were separated for almost 50 years before finally meeting last September.
But now Mrs Glasby, from Margaret River, is facing an uphill battle to be permanently reunited with her twin, who lives in Malaysia.
In a letter to Mrs Glasby last month, DIAC state director Paul Farrell explained that despite the circumstances, the present laws meant Ms Loader would not be eligible for family migration.
``Under Migration Law where the legal relationship between a child and his/her birth parents has been severed by adoption, the legal relationship between the child and his/her birth siblings is also severed,'' he said.
``It therefore does not appear that your twin sister would be eligible for a permanent visa under the Family Stream of the Migration Program.''
Mrs Glasby said she was heartbroken that her long-lost twin did not qualify as family.
``We're identical twin sisters _ we're the same egg,'' she said. ``Just because we got adopted into different families they say they don't consider us related.
``It's hard to get anyone more related to me.''
Following an arduous search for her twin that stretched two decades, Mrs Glasby located her sister late last year and the pair finally met in Perth for an emotional reunion.
Having spent time in Australia and then Malaysia getting to know each another, Ms Loader said the sisters, who turn 50 next month, were desperate to be together.
``We have a bond that perhaps only other identical twins can understand,'' she said.
``We don't just want to be together, we need to be together; it is as strong as that.
``I hope the people who know about our story will have the compassion and mercy to grant this last wish of mine to be with my sister and turn my dream into reality.''
Mrs Glasby, a former WA Health Department worker who now acts as a carer for her disabled husband, echoed the sentiments of her twin sister.
``She calls me the yin and I call her the yang _ as a whole, we work together as one,'' she said.
``We've totally bonded and we want to be together. Without her, I now feel incomplete.''
Mrs Glasby's husband, Marc, said he found it difficult to understand the department's policy. ``It doesn't make sense _ I think the typical phrase is `bureaucracy gone mad','' he said.
``Now (that) the department has decreed that the identical twins are not related, this effectively closes off our last avenue to apply.''
He said because Ms Loader was over the age limit of 45 that applied for most skilled migration streams, the sole remaining hope for her to obtain a permanent visa was a plea on compassionate grounds.
``What more compassionate grounds could there be when these two have got nobody else in the world as blood relatives and they want to be together?'' he said.
A DIAC spokeswoman said the family would have to lodge a valid visa application and have it denied before ministerial intervention on compassionate grounds could take place.
``As much as we sympathise with Mrs Glasby's situation, the department is bound by Australian law and any application for a permanent visa for her sister and her sister's family would have to be considered against the relevant laws and the regulations which apply to every case,'' she said.
I can understand that if parents put their child up for adoption then they can not later turn around and claim "family relationship" status, but siblings? Seriously, let the lady in!