A Chinese adolescent discovered his birth parents after making a social media appeal. He committed suicide after the reunion took a sour turn.
In a case that stunned the country, a Chinese adolescent who was reunited with his parents 17 years after they sold him as a newborn committed himself. Liu Xuezhou, a 17-year-old aspiring teacher, died of an overdose of antidepressants.
Liu Xuezhou’s birth parents sold him at birth in 2005, but he became an orphan at the age of four when his adopted parents, two farmers from northern China’s Hebei province, perished in a home explosion.
Liu spent most of his life being transferred from relative to relative following the accident.
He lived with his adoptive mother’s parents, whom he referred to as his grandparents, and subsisted on child support and the help of his adoptive father’s relatives.
Last year, the adolescent revealed on his Weibo social media website that he was working part-time to help finance his studies. Liu began searching for his parents while studying to be a teacher in the northern city of Shijiazhuang.
Following his initial video, police advised him to use a DNA database established by authorities to combat child trafficking and reunite families with children who have been kidnapped, adopted, or otherwise lost contact with their birth parents.
Later that month, in December 2021, Liu announced on Weibo that he had located his biological parents. Police found them and convened a meeting in an astonishingly short period.
However, within weeks, the story of a joyful return devolved into tragedy. Both of whom have since remarried, the parents became estranged from Liu after he publicly claimed he had been sold, not given away.
The teen saw his father in Shijiazhuang, Hebei’s capital, on December 27, 2021. However, Liu stated that his father refused to accept him due to the fact that he was already raising another family.
Liu stated in early January that he located and traveled to meet his biological mother in Inner Mongolia. As with his father, she rejected the teen, claiming she “wanted a calm life” and already had her own family.
Liu requested financial assistance. According to Beijing News, Liu’s biological parents pooled their resources and flew him to Sanya for a holiday. Liu accepted the trip but persisted in pleading with his parents for assistance with his lodging.
His father, Ding Shuangquan, and mother, Zhang, claimed that Liu was attempting to coerce them to purchase a property they could not afford.
Liu stated that his biological parents refused to let him reside with them and would not allow him to visit their houses. He said that he requested them to “either rent or purchase a place for me due to my homelessness.”
They both turned down the offer.
He claimed that his mother subsequently disabled his phone number and social media accounts, referring to him as a “white-eyed wolf,” a Chinese euphemism for someone who is unappreciative, cold-hearted, and heartless.
As the fight unfolded on social media, commenters piled on, with many condemning Liu for being self-centered. “In the last few days, individuals have criticized and cursed me on Douyin and Weibo,” he wrote in his suicide note. “I’ve been told to ‘go to hell’ and called numerous swear words, including a scheming son of a b****,’ ‘disgusting,’ and’sissy.’”
Liu stated that he would sue his parents for abandoning him twice.
However, Liu’s mother denied abandoning her son. “From the beginning, we lacked financial capability; we now lack that capability,” she stated in an interview with The Paper on January 20, 2022.
Liu also stated in the note that he had previously been bullied and referred to as a “deserted child” by his classmates. Liu also said he had been sexually molested by a male teacher but had kept the abuse a secret for the majority of his life.
On Monday, 24 January 2022, at 2 minutes past midnight, Liu posted his final words online and ingested dozens of antidepressant tablets on a beach in Sanya. Local police confirmed his death shortly after 4 a.m.
Liu’s suicide sparked a nationwide discussion about cyberbullying and children’s mental health, particularly those who have been abandoned. His Weibo profile has already been inundated with posts from his followers expressing their compassion for Lui as well as their outrage at both the cyberbullies and his parents.