Open Letter from the Dionne Quintuplets

Shortly after the McCaughey septuplets were born in 1997, the three surviving Dionne Quintuplets wrote a letter to Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey, cautioning them that "multiple births should not be confused with entertainment, nor should they be an opportunity to sell products".

Although it's probably too little, too late, it would be nice if Jon and Kate Gosselin would take their words to heart:

Dear Bobbi and Kenny,

If we emerge momentarily from the privacy we have sought all our adult lives, it is only to send a message to the McCaughey family. We three would like you to know we feel a natural affinity and tenderness for your children. We hope your children receive more respect than we did. Their fate should be no different from that of other children. Multiple births should not be confused with entertainment, nor should they be an opportunity to sell products.

Our lives have been ruined by the exploitation we suffered at the hands of the government of Ontario, our place of birth. We were displayed as a curiosity three times a day for millions of tourists. To this day we receive letters from all over the world. To all those who have expressed their support in light of the abuse we have endured, we say thank you. And to those who would seek to exploit the growing fame of these children, we say beware.

We sincerely hope a lesson will be learned from examining how our lives were forever altered by our childhood experience. If this letter changes the course of events for these newborns, then perhaps our lives will have served a higher purpose.

Sincerely, Annette, Cecile and Yvonne Dionne

As published in Time Magazine, 12/01/1997