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May 29, 2014

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Abandoned baby gets ID papers after 13 years

A TEENAGER abandoned as a newborn baby and raised by the Shanghai grandmother who found him has finally been given identity documents.

Zhu Junlong, 13, had been in legal limbo since he was found in a basket by Zhu Shuibao in a lane near her home in the Pudong New Area.

“Granny Zhu” took the mixed-race baby home, and with her husband raised him as their own child, though without going through the official adoption process.

Zhu Shuibao, a farmer who turns 70 this year, has been trying for more than 10 years to convince the authorities to give the boy identity papers.

Recently, her efforts paid off when the family received notification that Junlong will receive a local residency permit — hukou — and get an identity card when he turns 16.

A hukou entitles him to social, education and welfare services.

An adoption certificate was also issued, officially making the family’s relationship legal.

“Being able to get the residency permit is the result of a long-term battle,” Zhu Shuibao said. “I just hope Junlong will have a normal and good life.”

The teenager, who is of Chinese and African origin, will also be given a one-room apartment in Beicai Town, where his adoptive family lives, to help him build an independent life in the future.

“Granny Zhu’s adoption 14 years ago was actually illegal,” Xiao Qing, a staff member with the adoption office of the Pudong New Area Civil Affairs Bureau told Shanghai Daily.

She already had two sons and a daughter and under an adoption law introduced in 1999 she was not qualified to adopt a baby.

In any case, at the time she did not follow the correct procedure.

“As standard practice, one should report to police after finding an abandoned baby,” said Xiao, who has dealt with similar  cases where those involved were unclear on adoption law.

Zhu Shuibao stumbled across a bamboo basket in grass near her home on August 8, 2000.

Inside was the baby and a note attached saying he was born on August 1.

Junlong is currently a 9th grade student in Jianping Middle School and may go to further study at a technical school, said his adoptive mother.

“He’s interested in machines and computers, and told me he wants to become a car mechanic or work with computers,” she said.

Now that Junlong has an official identity, Granny Zhu is reassured that he will receive the services city natives get.

“Age is catching up with me. I just wish for my boy to have a fulfilling life,” she said.


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