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China: Around The Nation

American-raised Jenna journeys back to Wuhan in search of her biological parents

Like many adopted children happily raised overseas, she still longs to meet the couple who brought her into the world

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 March, 2017, 7:09pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 March, 2017, 7:09pm

A young woman who was abandoned in Wuhan several months after she was born and was raised in the United States returned to China recently to find her parents, a local newspaper reports.

Jenna Cook, the English name given to her by her adoptive mother Margaret Cook, was abandoned at a bus station on March 24, 1992, according to the report in the Chongqing Morning News.

Chinese woman adopted by Texans returns to Shanghai in search of biological parents

Jennan, who is now 25, was taken in by the Wuhan Infant Asylum and lived for a short time with a foster family in Wuhan before she was adopted by Margaret in June that year.

Margaret took Jenna home to Massachusetts and encouraged her to learn Chinese from an early age.

Jenna was the among the first batch of 200 children Chinese to be adopted by Americans. Since then, more than 80,000 Chinese children, mostly girls, were adopted by American families.

Traditional Chinese culture favours boys over girls, leading to more girls being abandoned, especially those who were illegitimate or congenital medical conditions.

Jenna began searching for biological parents after she enrolled at Yale University in 2012, where she received funding support to help find parents as a research project.

50 families contacted Jenna after her story was published in a Wuhan newspaper, but DNA testing found none was her real parents.

Adopted from China, raised in the USA: images of Chinese children and their new American families

Jenna said she was surprised that those parents who lost their children years ago were not cold and heartless, but treated her as a real relative.

“My dream is to find my real parents. I don’t hate them. I wish to tell them how much I love them and how thankful I am for bringing me into the world,” Jenna said in an ad.

“Dad and Mom, I miss you very much and hope that one day I can hug you,” said Jenna.