These stories never get old. A mother and father in Sichuan province were reunited with their son three decades after he was taken away because of China’s one-child policy.
Zou Yuhua, now 59 years old, gave birth to a second son in 1983, according to China Daily. Six months after he was born, government workers came to their home in Wolong village, Laojunjing township and took the baby away. China’s one-child policy was strictly enforced in Sichuan province at the time, as it had a population of more than 100 million people before Chongqing became a municipality in 1997.
Zou and her husband Zhang Mingfa had learned that a child the same age as their son was given to a single father in Jinyu township surnamed Wang, but when they tried to reach him, they were told to leave.
In 1997, Wang took the then-14-year-old child to Zhang and Zou, saying that he could no longer afford to raise him and that he must be their son. After caring for the boy for nearly a decade, the the couple learned in 2006 that he was, in fact, not their biological son.
Meanwhile, their real son, Zhang Huayong, was living with his adopted family more than 40 kilometers away. He knew from the age of four that he’d been given away by the Jianyang county family planning bureau, and had been searching for his biological parents since he was a teen.
In November last year, Zhang Huayong printed out around 50,000 leaflets containing information about his parents. Five days after the flyers began circulating, Zou’s neighbor got ahold of one and showed it to her.
Zou called Zhang Huayong and a DNA test later proved that she was his biological mom.
“My parents have under-gone many hardships since they lost me as a child. I will repay them,” Zhang Huayong told reporters.
The one-child policy was introduced in 1979 as a means to control population growth. There were exceptions to the policy, and most provinces and cities permitted two parents who were both only children to have two children. At the end of 2013, the policy was further relaxed, and now allows couples to have a second child as long as one of the parents is an only child.