This is the moving moment when 38 years after his kidnapping, two elderly Chinese parents reunite with their long-lost son.
The 70-year-old man and his wife had prayed for the past 40 years for the return of their child, nicknamed Jin Shui, who was snatched from their home in 1982 at the age of two.
Emotional images show the family burst into tears when they finally had to hug each other again today after police tracked down the son using a national DNA database.
This is the moving moment when 38 years after his kidnapping, two elderly Chinese parents reunite with their long-lost son. Emotional images show the family bursting into tears
The boy, nicknamed Jin Shui, who was snatched from their home in 1982 at the age of two
Emotional images show the family burst into tears when they finally had to hug again today after police tracked down the son using a national DNA database
The family from a remote village in the northwestern Chinese province of Shaanxi had lived a simple and happy life before it all fell apart at the wee hour of May 12, 1982.
The father, Su Bingde, had left the house earlier that day to visit a relative, local media reported. Assuming he would return at night, Mr. Su did not lock the house while his wife and two children stayed at home.
But the father was unable to get home while the mother, Huang Renxiu, put the children to bed.
Early in the morning, Mrs. Huang was awakened by her daughter who wanted to use the toilet.
The mother was shocked to discover that her two-year-old son Jin Shui, who was fast asleep next to her, had suddenly disappeared.
Mrs. Huang immediately contacted her husband and other villagers while they spent the rest of the night looking for the toddler. But the little boy was nowhere to be seen.
The family refused to give up and then embarked on a ten-year search for their beloved child.
On September 17, the Chinese family finally met again after nearly four decades
The mother, Ms. Huang, is wiped away her tears at the reunion ceremony in Shaanxi today
Mr. Su began to go to other towns and cities in the hope of finding out information about the kidnapping of his son.
The poor villager usually traveled on foot to save money and sometimes spent hours non-stop.
Grief stricken the mother developed mental problems, which put more pressure on the devastated family.
Although local police launched an investigation shortly after Jin Shui’s disappearance, the agents were unable to resolve the case due to the remote location and limited information.
Nearly forty years later, the silver-haired parents still prayed that their long-lost son would return one day.
Mr. Li (in the middle of the photo) now has a family of his own with a wife and two sons. They live in Hebei Province, 1104 kilometers (686 miles) away from his biological parents. The photo shows the Chinese man with his wife and two sons sitting with his parents after 38 years
Ms. Huang and her long-lost son Jin Shui are being interviewed by the local press today
Mr. Su said he had been saving money for his funeral in recent years.
He told reporters in an interview earlier this year, ‘I don’t want to bother the family. I solved it myself. My last wish is to see my son Jin Shui again. ‘
The family’s prayers were finally answered when they were briefed by police on Tuesday.
After comparing DNA samples in a national database, agents found Jin Shui, who is now a 40-year-old man, known by the name of Li Guolin.
Mr. Li now has a family of his own with a wife and two sons. They live in Hebei Province, 1104 kilometers (686 miles) away from his biological parents.
On September 17, the family finally met again, after nearly four decades, as they hugged and burst into tears.
Mr. Li and his parents are pictured having a banquet in the village after their reunion today
The overjoyed father said, “I had waited 38 years for this day. I didn’t think I would meet my grandsons too! ‘
Other clips show the reunited family returning to the village as they gathered friends and relatives for a banquet at home.
Human trafficking is a serious problem in Chinese society. Each year, an estimated 70,000 young people – from babies to teenagers – are snatched from their families in the country.
Some have been bought, others have simply been stolen. They end up as workers, in forced marriages or as adoptees of wealthy families, in China itself or abroad.
Why is child abduction a serious problem in China?
About 200,000 boys and girls are missing in China every year
Child abduction is a serious problem in China, especially in rural areas.
An important reason is that Chinese families prefer sons to daughters, so they buy baby boys.
In addition, a severe gender gap – a result of four decades of one-child policy – has made it difficult for Chinese men to find a wife. That is why teenage girls are sometimes kidnapped and sold as child brides.
Child abduction remains a sensitive topic for the Chinese authorities. No official figures have been released on how many children are kidnapped in China every year.
But according to a 2013 report on China Nation RadioIt is estimated that about 200,000 boys and girls go missing every year. Among them, only 200, or 0.1 percent, could find their parents at some point in their lives.
A survey shows that about 64 percent of the kidnapped children in China are boys
But other recent reports estimate that the estimated number could drop anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000.
Baobeihuijia, a website specializing in connecting families with their missing members, conducted a survey of kidnapped children in China based on 8,861 cases listed on their website.
The research shows that about 64 percent of the kidnapped children are boys and more than 75 percent of the kidnapped children under the age of six.
However, among those abducted over the age of 13, there are more girls than boys.
The survey also claims that children under the age of four are the most likely to be abducted in China.