'Only child' reunited with her siblings after 67 years

SINGAPORE – Nearly 70 years after she was given up for adoption, Madam Jenny Chow finally reunited with her biological siblings on Sunday (Sept 6).

The reunion, which took place at Blk 516, Bedok North Avenue 2, was the first time Madam Chow, 67, met seven of her eight biological siblings.

Born Lua Siew Hong, Madam Chow was given up for adoption when she was three months old.

She grew up as the only child of Mr Chow Xiang Cheow and Madam Tan Ah Bee.

She found out that she was adopted when she was in primary school, after she saw her birth certificate – which had the names of her biological parents – and adoption documents.

However, she did not pursue the matter as she was afraid her adoptive parents would be hurt, she said.

She started making attempts to search for her biological family only in 2004, including searching for their home, but to no avail each time.

Sunday’s meeting came about after her husband, Mr David Wong, 68, who owns a printing business, contacted charity Crime Library (CLS) to help find the family last month, on his friend’s suggestion. The volunteer group also tracks down missing people.

On Sunday, Madam Chow met five of her siblings – three sisters and two brothers – at the void deck of the Housing Board block, where they compared birth certificates. She was also given photos of the family.

Madam Jenny Chow (right) looking at family photos with her sister Madam Lua Siew Eng. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Another sister and brother joined them later at a nearby coffee shop, where the family had lunch together.

Madam Chow, who works part-time in hotel administration, told The Straits Times that she was a bit stressed during the reunion, as she grew up as an only child.

She and her husband now have two children and six grandchildren. One other child died of cancer when he was 30.

Madam Lua Siew Eng, 66, said in Mandarin that she is happy to be reunited with her sister and hopes to keep in touch with her.

Mr Joseph Tan, who founded CLS, said the organisation had made enquiries around the neighbourhood in Changi. This was where the family used to live, according to the address on Madam Chow’s birth certificate.

CLS discovered that Madam Chow’s late biological mother used to work at Changi Airport, and managed to find her house.

It is now inhabited by two of Madam Chow’s brothers, one of whom confirmed with CLS that she was their long-lost sister.

“We are happy that both families finally have closure, and that CLS is here for them,” Mr Tan said.

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