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‘It will not break our ties’: Chinese woman who found her adopted daughter’s birth parents praised as ‘greatest mum’

South China Morning Post logo South China Morning Post 29/9/2022 Mandy Zuo
  • Tian adopted Feng, now 19 years old, as her second child from a former coworker when the girl was just seven days old
  • She found her daughter's biological parents with the help of NGO workers and by using online searches and posting a video about her search

The story of a Chinese mother who went above and beyond to help her 19-year-old adopted daughter track down her biological parents after losing contact for more than a decade has struck a chord with millions of people in China.

Tian Chen, a 47-year-old woman from Anhui in southeastern China, has been celebrated after she successfully tracked down the birth parents of her adopted daughter, Feng Xiang, within 40 days by searching on Douyin.

She was helped in her search by NGO workers and said she found Feng's birth parents after posting a video online about her search on August 7, Tian revealed in a social media post on Saturday.

Tian adopted Feng as her second child from a former coworker when she was just seven days old. The two families reached an adoption agreement in 2003 when the parents all worked at a factory in Guangdong, southern China. Feng's birth father, Feng Fengming, said at the time that he and his wife were too poor to raise their daughter as they already had one child.

'I've always hoped to help my daughter find her biological parents, to let her know who she is and where she is from', says Tian. Photo: cdsb.com © Provided by South China Morning Post 'I've always hoped to help my daughter find her biological parents, to let her know who she is and where she is from', says Tian. Photo: cdsb.com

The families initially stayed in touch, but lost contact with each other three years later after Tian divorced her then-husband.

Tian's ex-husband took their first child and Tian continued raising Feng and later remarried. She said it has always been her wish to help her daughter get in touch with her birth parents.

"Whenever I saw reports on the TV about families that were separated for various reasons, it hurt me deeply," she said in one of her online videos.

"I've always hoped to help my daughter find her biological parents, to let her know who she is and where she is from.

"As for what choice my daughter will make after getting in touch, I will totally respect her decision. Wherever she lives, it will not break our ties as mother and child," she said.

Feng's birth father told Red Star News that it was "a happy surprise" to find his daughter. "We welcome her back. But if she wants to stay with her adopted parents, we'll respect her," he said.

Many people were moved by Tian's courage and called her, "the greatest mother", after the story trended online in mainland China.

"Your daughter is so lucky to have such a kind mother," one of her Douyin followers commented.

Online searches for lost children or birth parents have become common on mainland Chinese social media in recent years. Many children who were abandoned or abducted during the era of China's notorious one-child policy from 1980 to 2015 grew up in the digital age and are now better informed.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2022. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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