China society
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
A teen who was sold by his parents at birth found them after a search, only to be abandoned by them again. Photo: Handout

China child trafficking: teen tracks down parents who sold him at birth, only to be rejected again

  • The teenager, now aged 17, was sold at birth via a middleman to adoptive parents who died when he was 4, leaving him orphaned
  • After an online search he traced his birth parents, but shortly after meeting them they told him to cease contact as they had new families

A young man in China who was sold by his parents at birth tracked them down last month, only to be abandoned by them again.

Liu Xuezhou, a 17-year-old college student in Hebei province, northern China, reunited with his birth parents a few weeks ago after he launched an online search, but was told they did not wish to maintain contact shortly after their reunion, the teenager said on social media.

Liu was sold by his birth parents in 2005 to his adoptive parents via a middleman and was subsequently orphaned at age four when his new parents were killed in an accident. He said neither his birth father nor mother would accept him as they had divorced after selling him and each had a new family.

Both the father, Ding Shuangquan, and the mother, who was not identified, have asked Liu to stay away as they believed his appearance disrupted their life, Liu said. Nor are they willing to give him financial support as he is almost an adult.

Liu said his birth parents only met him because of public pressure and soon cut off contact. Photo: Handout

“There would be someone else if your adoptive parents didn’t buy you,” his mother said in a call recording Liu published on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, on Monday.

She also blocked him on WeChat, he said.

Ding was allegedly worried that his new wife would divorce him if he welcomed Liu into the family, the son said. “I can’t understand why you said I disturbed your life. It was you who made my entire life a mess,” he wrote to his father on Douyin.

Neither of the birth parents responded to an interview request from the South China Morning Post.

Chinese man ‘sold son and used money to go on holiday’

Liu said his parents had him before getting married, and sold him soon after birth for money so his father could pay the bride price to his mother’s family.

He was loved by his adoptive parents, but an explosion took their lives and destroyed their home in a village in Nangong when he was four years old.

He was then looked after by his adoptive grandparents and moved around between various relatives. Now a second-year student at a college in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital of Heibei, he has taken odd jobs over the years and lived also on a government subsidy for orphans.


Chinese parents reunite with long-lost son after 14 years

Chinese parents reunite with long-lost son after 14 years

A man surnamed Sun, deputy head of the civil affairs department of Dacun township, where Liu was raised, told the Post that the local government would continue providing the subsidy despite his technically not being an orphan anymore.

Encouraged by a few high-profile family reunion cases in the past year and the authorities’ determination to crack down on human trafficking, the young man was encouraged to make an online post looking for his birth parents early last month.

Just a week later police in Shanxi province identified Ding as his biological father after a DNA test. A reunion ceremony with Ding was held by local authorities late last month and Liu visited his mother in Inner Mongolia a week ago.

It turned out that he has four siblings and half-siblings, his parents could not bear the public pressure and felt they were being forced to support him once their story was made public, he said.