US family launches Facebook search for triplet sons they were forced to give up
In 1972 Cynthia Bush was 16 years old, pregnant with triplets - and alone.
The US woman was told she had brought shame on her family by falling pregnant to boyfriend Brian Bush, and was sent from her hometown in upstate New York to stay with an aunt in Kansas until after she gave birth.
When her three sons were born the new mum was forced to give them up for adoption.
Cynthia and Brian eventually went on to marry each other and welcome three more children into the world.
They didn't tell anyone about the triplets until just a few years ago, when the couple spoke to their younger children about the adoption.
Now aged in their 60s, Cynthia and Brian have decided to search for the triplets and are using social media in a bid to find their sons, who would now be aged 43.
With the help of daughter Christina Wilcox, Cynthia and Brian's story has been shared on Facebook.
"My name is Christina and I'm searching for my triplet brothers born March 9, 1972 in Dodge City, Kansas," Wilcox's Facebook post reads.
"We believe they were delivered by Dr Arnold Baum at Trinity Hospital in Dodge City. My parents were forced to give the boys up for adoption though Catholic Charities.
"The triplets were supposed to be kept together, but may have been separated.
"They would be 43 yrs old now. My parents ended up marrying, and are still together. Our whole family is searching. If you have any information please contact me at email@example.com."
In an interview with NBC News, Wilcox said that she hoped the search would give her "some closure".
"I've always wondered about them," she said. "I've lived with this for so many years.
"I'd like to find them, but I don't want to disrupt their lives completely if they don't know they are adopted."
Wilcox's Facebook message has been shared more than 5000 times since she first posted it on December 20.
Photo: CHRISTINA WILCOX/FACEBOOK
"I've had an overwhelming response to my post about my brothers," she wrote in an update on her post.
"I've been contacted by several people in Dodge City, Kansas who have said my story is quickly spreading through their community."
Wilcox explained she had been contacted by several people who knew of the doctor who is believed to have delivered the triplets.
The family also learnt that the babies may have been separated after birth.
"My mother's stipulation was that they must remain together. She said if they couldn't be with her that she wanted them to at least have each other," Wilcox wrote.
"It is very disheartening, but a possibility that they may have been separated. Hopefully not, but we may have to alter our search now a little.
"I have had numerous strangers contact me and say that they want to help me and are researching for me. That, along with people on facebook sharing my post, is truly an amazing thing."
Wilcox said Catholic Charities had been contacted about the search for the triplets.
The family was told the agency could open the file on the case: they would need to pay US$150 to open a search, followed by an hourly fee for agency attempts to reach their sons.