“Police Officer Zhao is coming! Do you have any message about the parents of the children?” “There is some news about Xiaoliu!”
On the early morning of Lantern Festival, Doctor Jing of Love Ward in Children’s Hospital of Shanghai opened the door, and received Zhao Gengyuan, a people's policeman of Jiangning Road Police Station of Shanghai Public Security Bureau Jing’an District Branch.
In the ward, a child was held in a nursing worker’s arms. Another two children were running around. The youngest Xiaojiang cried "Dad, Dad" in a low voice, while the eldest Xiaoxing ran to Zhao Gengyuan and was picked up by Zhao in the arms, giggling.
However, the children's smiling faces made Zhao Gengyuan feel sad. Xiaojiang is one and a half years old; Xiaoliu is two and a half years old; Xiaoxing is three and a half years old. They are children abandoned by their parents. They have grown up in the hospital since childhood. The ward is their home.
On the family reunion day, Zhao particularly hoped to help them to find their parents soon, moreover, find a real path for preventing "stranded children".
“Daddy police” is busy seeking for lost relatives
Zhao Gengyuan who is over 50 years old this year helped a baby to find the parents through the medical bracelet around the wrist of the baby accidentally when receiving one alarm. From then on, he has forged indissoluble bond with those abandoned children. His colleagues call him a "policeman seeking for lost relatives", and the children call him “Daddy police”.
Every time looking at Xiaoxing running and playing in the ward, Zhao Gengyuan always recalls the child of the similar age previously. On May 30, 2009, a premature Lili was sent into Children’s Hospital of Shanghai. She suffered from a variety of diseases such as neonatal severe asphyxia and respiratory failure, and was once sent into the intensive care unit. And it was at that moment that Lili's parents abandoned the girl.
In 2012, the Hospital called the police in Jiangning Road Police Station. At that time, six or seven children including Lili were stranded in the hospital! Zhao Gengyuan once successfully helped an abandoned baby to find the parents. So this time, the Police Station assigned this task to him.
Stranded children like Lili are different from abandoned children in the legal sense: for stranded children, their parents leave their personal information mostly, but leave them in the hospital because of a variety of reasons. After survey, Zhao Gengyuan found that Lili’s parents had registered with name and address in Nanxiang Hospital. He then rode a motorcycle from Jing'an to Jiading. The local population management assistant checked the information of Lili’s parents again and again and accompanied him all the way to find this couple from Anhui. But this couple did not admit.
Afterwards, through repeated verification, Zhao Gengyuan finally confirmed that this couple was indeed Lili’s biological parents. He thought that the reason why they abandoned Lili was largely the concern about the potential sequela of Lili. “If they see how healthy and beautiful Lily is now, they will certainly change their mind.” Then, he took pictures of Lili and rode a motorcycle to Jiading again. Looking at the healthy child in the photograph, the couple finally promised to go back to the hospital to visit Lily.
In December 2012, after a series of tests, Lili who was already over 3 years old finally reunited with her parents.
I hope that the children will forget me
“The lights in the hospital are on for 24 hours, so the children have no concept of day and night. In addition, these children are not settled down, and thus cannot receive vaccination, so they have very low resistance to many diseases.” Zhao Gengyuan said that the hospital was not a nurture institution and the wards were equipped with drugs and medical devices, which were quite dangerous, but the children needed activity space. The daytime is fine. But at night, there are only two or three nurses on duty which are not enough at all to attend to those children.
Therefore, Zhao Gengyuan is eager to help every child stranded in the hospital to find their parents. There is another reason for this: as the children grow up, they will understand that they were abandoned. "It will certainly lead to a psychological shadow in the future.” So, every time a child reunites with his or her parents, the greatest wish of Zhao Gengyuan, their once dearest “Daddy police”, is that “the child will forget me and forget this memory”, though he is sad about the separation.
For the abandoned and troubled children handled by Zhao Gengyuan, some have parents with illegal behaviors, some have a family with numerous contradictions, some have parents who have divorced and married others, and even some have a mother taking drugs and therefore have to receive withdrawal treatment at the time of birth. Many children's parents registered with false names and contact information when sending their children to the hospital. “It is just like looking for a needle in a bundle of hay. Even if the parents are found, they refuse to claim kindred with the children.”
On January 15, 2012, twin sisters lighter than 1.5 kilograms were sent to Children’s Hospital of Shanghai for treatment urgently. After salvage, the younger sister Mumu was successfully saved. When looking for the mother of Mumu, the hospital found that the information and contact message registered previously were false.
Then Zhao Gengyuan turned to the native place of Mumu’s mother and contacted the local community policeman Zhao Xiaoxu. With the help of Zhao Xiaoxu, Zhao Gengyuan found Mumu’s mother at the end of 2012, but she had gone back to her native place and married. She worried that Mumu would affect her new marriage life and decided not to show up.
However, Zhao Gengyuan didn't give up. He exerted all his strength to come into contact with the family of Mumu’s mother to find a solution. In 2013, Mumu’s maternal grandfather who had learned the information came to Shanghai and decided to raise the granddaughter personally.
Give the abandoned children a warm home
Just because of this, Zhao Gengyuan simmers with contradictions very often. He wants to help the children, but he couldn't help to worry about the children's future. For more than a decade, Zhao Gengyuan has found parents for eight children abandoned in the hospital. But for him, the greatest concern is how to reduce the phenomena of "stranded children", and how to guarantee a bright future for all the children either having found or not found their parents.
“A boy named Junjun touched me especially.” At that time, the parents in premarital pregnancy broke up after the birth of Junjun. Then Junjun was staying in the hospital, unclaimed. After a year and a half, Zhao Gengyuan tried his best to find out Junjun’s mother. After persuasion, she agreed to adopt Junjun, but she had no money to pay for medical treatment. “At that time, she was with her new boyfriend. But, she was working to raise this boyfriend, giving all her money to him. When she asked her boyfriend for money to take her child out, her boyfriend said he didn’t have any money.” Zhao Gengyuan said that Junjun eventually came back to her mother last January. But he always worried about whether Junjun could be well taken care of in such a living environment. “A mother's love is irreplaceable. Just as the saying goes, “my home is a place where my mother is in”. However, whenever in retrospect, I still feel self-reproach.”
In the view of Zhao Gengyuan, the strengthening of law can truly provide the feasible solution to the problem of children in dilemma. Abandonment of children goes against morality and ethics, and is illegal. The tiny minority of parents who do not fulfill guardianship shall be deprived of the guardianship qualification, and severely punished in accordance with the law. At the same time, he thinks that the Law of Adoption shall be timely modified so that the parents with adoption willingness and good family conditions can give these abandoned children a truly warm home.