British couple reunited with son, nearly 15 years after he was abducted by their Chinese mother

A British couple have been reunited with their son, nearly 15 years after he was abducted by his Chinese mother. Nigel Meads said he was overcome with emotion after New Britain Children’s Services retrieved…

British couple reunited with son, nearly 15 years after he was abducted by their Chinese mother

A British couple have been reunited with their son, nearly 15 years after he was abducted by his Chinese mother. Nigel Meads said he was overcome with emotion after New Britain Children’s Services retrieved Michael’s body from the Chinese countryside. While Meads and his wife Julia hadn’t given up hope of finding their missing son, Rebecca Meng, 30, appeared surprised to see him for the first time. The two had both gone back to China in 2004 to search for him, and Meng told The Daily Mail she had given up hope that he would ever be returned to them. “The day Nigel and Julia returned to China, I thought I had lost Michael forever,” she said.

Michael Meng was first abducted by Meng and her former husband, Daniel Xu, when he was only a few weeks old. Meng had taken the boy back to the U.K. when her marriage to Xu had ended, but later agreed to return the boy with Meng to the family’s hometown in the eastern province of Jiangsu. Deng ran away with her son in 2000, just months after Meng had given birth to him in the U.K. Deng had previously taken other children from the Meng family, including Michael’s sister, and she placed them with relatives when she left. The government stepped in when they learned Deng had denied Deng and Michael any parental rights. Deng’s relatives repeatedly denied her access to Michael and a few months later, on July 30, 2001, Deng fled with the child.

Meng had the child returned to her before moving back to China with her two younger children. “She thought this would protect Michael from [the] British authorities, but it didn’t,” said Meng. David Ward, a spokesman for New Britain Children’s Services, said Michael had been taken back to China in 2008. He had been found last week by a group of police officers and Meng’s friends. “I don’t remember the exact details, but I remember one of the cops screaming at the other, saying, ‘Get the bastard,’” Meng said. “We hugged and kissed the boy.” Michael was reunited with his mother and father on Saturday.

A few other Chinese women have claimed to have abducted their own children in the past few years. In one case, a woman who was able to bear a son using in vitro fertilization tried to have him buried on her farm in 2000. Another was initially planning to cremate her dead son, who she claimed was snatched from her and taken to China.

One factor that might help Meng avoid possible international prosecution is that her story is distinctly different from many of those who try to take their children abroad. Meng said she brought Michael back to the U.K. after finding out that the boy’s parents weren’t his biological parents. In other cases, parents who claim they weren’t parents begin illegally adopting a child and later discover they are the biological parents.

Read the full story at The Daily Mail.

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