Man swapped at birth abandons regret and cherishes his family

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 January, 2009, 12:00am

For a man who was swapped at birth 32 years ago, this Lunar New Year marks a significant point.

He has decided to cherish the family he has known all his life and live without regret.

'Of course, sometimes when I was alone I would still miss my biological parents, wondering where they were and what they would be doing,' said Kelvin Li Kwok-yin. 'Especially when it came to Lunar New Year, where it's all about family reunions.

'But now I have already accepted the fact [that I may never meet my biological parents]. Besides, I believe it was fate that led me to be with my present family members. It was God's will which pulled us together. So I think we should live our lives to the full.'

It is the second Lunar New Year since Mr Li discovered in 2007 that he was swapped at birth.

Mr Li, born on November 30, 1976, at Tsan Yuk Hospital, discovered that he had been swapped when his sister realised that his blood type meant he could not possibly be his mother's natural son.

After his discovery, Mr Li spent a year searching for the identity of his biological parents. Two men stepped forward to take DNA tests after Mr Li's story came to light. However, neither was the biological son of the woman Mr Li knows as his mother, Lui Fung-ha.

The Hospital Authority wrote to 180 mothers who gave birth at Tsan Yuk between November 28 and December 14, 1976, inviting them to take DNA tests. That prompted five inquiries, but led to no new DNA tests.

Mr Li's search extended to the Chuk Yuen Children's Reception Centre, where Ms Lui left her baby for a month.

In August last year, Mr Li decided he was ready to end the search, and that decision, he said, gave him a sense of relief.

'Last Lunar New Year, when it had only been a few months since the discovery, each of us [in his family] was very sensitive and cautious in what we said ... But this year, we even joked about the [mix-up],' he said.

'I think this was because time has proven everything, it proved that our relationship and the feelings we had were genuine after having been together for some 30 years. So for us, there was nothing really different.'

Looking back on the saga, Mr Li said it had brought him and his family closer than ever.

After his story came to light, Mr Li said he and his mother had been invited by different associations to give talks and share what had happened.

Such sessions had helped him get to know his mother better and show his affection for her, he said.

This year, they plan to publish a book about their story.

'Apart from telling people our story, the publisher also thought that might be an alternative means to help us [he and his mother] look for our respective biological families,' he said.

'If either my biological parents or their son happen to read it, I would like to let them know we have been living our lives fully and happily with no regrets,' he said.



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