SCMP Saturday, July 21, 2001


Show mercy, plead tearful parents

ADOPTEES' CASE by MAGDALEN CHOW

Some parents of the adopted children who lost their right-of-abode fight collapsed in grief after yesterday's "devastating" rulings and appealed to the Government to show mercy on humanitarian grounds.
Sobbing Man Yuet-kwai, 50, mother of 14-year-old Agnes Tam Nga-yin, jumped to her feet after being told the news and vowed to keep the girl with her despite any repatriation order.
She accused the Director of Immigration of splitting up families. "It is so unfair. We are being discriminated against. Nga-yin has been taken care of by me since she was a baby.
"What's the difference between an adopted child and a naturally born one?"
Nga-yin's adoptive father, Tam Ching-luk, 70, wept as he said he was disappointed. "I don't know what to say now. There is no one we can turn to. She is adopted but it does not mean we don't love her."
Ms Man added: "We have been waiting for more than 10 years for our dream to come true but now everything has been shattered. We have been betrayed by the Chinese and Hong Kong governments."
She sold her business and moved to Shenzhen to take care of Nga-yin in 1990 when the girl was old enough to attend kindergarten. Nga-yin, who is now studying at secondary school, was brought to Hong Kong in 1996 on a two-way permit.
The father of adopted child Chan Wai-wah, four, said he was very unhappy and felt helpless. "No one will be able to take care of my child on the mainland. How could I send him back? I love him so much and he brings so much joy to our family. He is my son," said Tsang Heung-choi.
Mr Tsang, who is in his 50s, said Wai-wah was smuggled into Hong Kong when he was only a few months old. The parents of the third adopted applicant, five-year-old Xie Xiao-yi, could not be contacted yesterday. Xiao-yi is living with her mother in Canada.
Solicitor Peter Barnes, whose firm acted for Nga-yin and Wai-wah, described the couples as "model parents" who loved their children dearly.
He said the firm, Barnes and Daly, was considering filing applications to seek a court order to legalise their adoptions in the SAR, enabling the children to remain in the territory. Deputy Secretary for Security, Timothy Tong Hin-ming, asked if the Government would extend an amnesty to the adopted children involved in yesterday's hearing to allow them to stay, said: "I'm not going to remark on individual cases but we welcome the court's ruling because it will be a help as far as executing immigration rules are concerned.
"Any case has to be dealt with appropriately based on the existing procedures."