Chinese Man Reunites With Birth Family After 28 Years And 12-Year Search – NDTV

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His adoptive parents supported his search for his birth parents

Gouming Martens, a PhD graduate, was adopted by a Dutch couple from an orphanage in China at the age of four and has finally found his birth parents after a 12-year-long quest. His journey to discover his origins has touched many people online. Mr Martens got lost while travelling with his parents from their home in eastern China’s Jiangsu province to his mother’s hometown in southwestern Sichuan province at the age of three in 1994, the South China Morning Post reported.

Kind-hearted people sent him to an orphanage, and in 1996, he was adopted by a Dutch couple, Jozef and Maria Martens.

The Dutch couple named him Gouming, after the name given to him by the orphanage.

His adoptive parents supported his search for his birth parents, and in 2007 the family returned to China together to look for clues, but the orphanage was gone. However, Mr. Martens continued his search. He spent five years relearning Mandarin and worked part-time to pay for three trips to China during his university years.


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In 2012, he registered himself with Baobeihuijia (Baby Come Home), a volunteer operation dedicated to helping people find lost families, and sought his birth parents with the help of volunteers.

Mr Martens has a degree from Leiden University in the Netherlands and a PhD in linguistics from McGill University in Canada. He is now working in Canada as an AI speech recognition expert.

Last year, he finally received good news: volunteers told Mr. Martens that his DNA matched his birth mother, Wen Xurong. His birth parents never stopped looking for the child named Gao Yang, the media outlet reported. However, their story was a tragic one.

The South China Morning Post reported that Mr Martens’ birth father lost sight of his wife, Wen, at a railway station. He then had an episode with a bunch of hooligans while searching for his wife and lost Gao Yang.

A tramp tricked Wen into going home with him and forced her to have a son with him. The tramp abandoned her after she gave birth. Wen returned to her hometown but suffered from mental health problems. She then remarried and had a daughter.

The media outlet reported that Gao senior walked from Sichuan to 1,700 km away in Jiangsu province, begging for food and searching desperately for Gao Yang. He died in 2009. Then, in 2017, Gao senior’s brother contacted Wen and asked her to register her DNA with the police and post her son’s information on Baobeihuijia.

Then a DNA test led to this happy coincidence. The day volunteers told Gouming about the success of his 12-year search was his real birthday, October 12, on the Chinese agricultural calendar.

However, Mr. Martens’ adoptive mother died shortly before the good news reached them. He said his adoptive father was happy for him. He reunited with Wen and his half-siblings in Sichuan, southwestern China, in February during the Spring Festival holiday.

Wen, who suffered from a mental disorder, appeared to be fine when she saw Mr. Martens. She kept calling him by his nickname, Yangyang, and asked, “Where have you been?”

“I’m here,” Gouming said.

The story has moved many people on social media. “He might have thought his parents abandoned him, but they have never given up on him,” a user wrote on Chinese social media.

“Despite the unfortunate beginning of his story, he was eventually lucky as both his birth family and adoptive family are full of love,” said another.

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