Parents still seeking child after 18 years
The Anxin county government in Hebei province has told a local court that it cannot provide the information necessary to trace a baby allegedly taken from her parents by officials 18 years ago.
The government told Gaobeidian city court on Tuesday that it “does not have the relevant information” necessary to discover what happened to the child, who was 11 days old when she was taken from her parents in 1995.
In 2012, Baoding city government ordered Anxin county to release information on the child’s disappearance, but the latter refused. In midOctober, the parents filed a lawsuit in Gaobeidian city court, which agreed to hear the case.
The girl was the third child born into a poor rural family in Qiaonan village, Juantou township. She was born illegally on May 28, 1995, and under family planning laws at that time the family could have received a fine or other punishment.
Xia Jincheng from the village’s police office asked the parents to give the girl away on June 7, 1995, but they refused, the Beijing Times reported.
The parents say he led two women to their home the next day and seized the infant, leaving 400 yuan ($66) behind. The newspaper quoted Xia Jincheng as saying he acted under the village government’s instruction.
“I ran out to save my sister but failed because I was too young,” said Liu Qunling, the eldest son, now 28.
The couple immediately began to search for the child, approaching the township government three days later and asking for the baby’s return.
Rebuffed, the couple filed a lawsuit against Juantou township in 2003. The Baoding Intermediate People’s Court subsequently rejected that suit.
Then, last year, Baoding government reviewed the matter and ordered Anxin county officials to release all necessary information within 15 days. County authorities have so far produced nothing.
The parents then filed another lawsuit in October with the Gaobeidian People’s Court.
“All we want is to know my sister’s situation, whether she is alive, and about her life in an adopted family,” said the brother, adding that his parents, now in their 60s, are in declining health, something he attributes to their struggle to find their child.
Anxin county government said on Tuesday that it can only make public the information that it has. It added that the parents should get more information from the township.
“The county and the township passed the buck for years,” said Lin Feng, the family’s lawyer.
An official from Anxin county government said the county would not comment beyond its response to the court.
Yang Weidong, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the case arose from an unreasonable governmental action, and can be appealed at any time.
“The local government could not take the child away, no matter what the excuse is — or in other words, it was an improper governmental action,” he said.
Xia Fengge (left) of Hebei province shows the umbilical cord of her daughter, who was allegedly taken away by village officials 18 years ago.