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June 24, 2017

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Finnish adoptee finds biological mom in Taiwan

PARIS -- After six years of searching from his home in Finland, Conny Wiik found his birth mother in Taiwan just ahead of Mother's Day.

His "whole life is taking another turn," said Wiik, when reacting to the news. He is "very glad and excited," he told CNA from Nykarleby, a town with a population of some 7,500 residents on Finland's western coast.

He may head to Taiwan to meet his mother in person as early as this autumn, Wiik added.

Wiik, now a father of four and owner of a fox farm, was born in Taiwan in 1980 and given the name Ho Liu Ming-feng before being adopted as a toddler by a Finnish family.

His birth certificate identifies his birth mother but lists his father as "unknown."

Wiik's search for answers has come to a happy ending thanks to the dedication of police officers and his birth mother's positive response.

The good news also came after CNA reported Wiik's story in February and helped him get in touch with Taiwan's National Police Agency.

He provided some photos, including some of him as a baby boy and one of a woman carrying a baby on her back, which the police used to identify a resident of Guishan Township in the northern county of Taoyuan.

Through DNA testing, she was confirmed to be Wiik's biological mother.

The picture was very telling, said Chung Yu-tien, the officer responsible for the search, because it shows a mole on one side of the mother's mouth.

"Heaven helps those who help themselves," Chung said, noting that the process is not always so smooth and straightforward.

The photo helped, but the key was the mother's willingness to undergo a DNA test and meet with her long separated son, Chung said.

During his interview with CNA early this year in Vaasa, a west coast city about 100 kilometers south of his home, Wiik said he first thought to start searching for his biological mother six years ago when his daughter was born. At the time, he realized she was the only person he knew who is related to him by blood.

However, the topic of adoption is taboo in his adopted family, he said, especially since his Finnish mother worries he might move back to Taiwan after finding his biological family.

Wiik's adoption papers are all legitimate, but that is not the case for the 60-or-so Taiwanese children illegally sold for profit and trafficked abroad in the early 1980s to Australia, Finland, Sweden and the United States. The trafficking ring was busted in 1982, but many of the children, now adults, have only recently begun to look for their birth parents.

Along with Wiik, two naturalized Finnish women born of Taiwanese parents told CNA they were also trying to find their roots in Taiwan.

Asked Sunday if Taiwan would help adoptees abroad in the search for their biological parents, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that officials abroad, such as the representative office in Finland, will help establish communications with agencies in Taiwan.

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