据多方统计，从 1992 年起，至今已有超过 15 万中国儿童被海外家庭收养。在很多人眼里，这些孩子被跨国收养改变了命运，是「幸运的」。但随着他们的不断长大，「回国寻亲」却成了越来越普遍的追求。早些年间，国外 DNA 寻亲常用的生物基因芯片（也叫DNA芯片或DNA微阵列）技术在国内并不普及，导致他们无法通过这一技术在中国寻找亲人。现在，23魔方将自建的 60 万人基因芯片数据库对外开放，给这些海外孤儿带来了一线新的曙光。而来自美国华盛顿的 @Mia H 便是第一位受益者。最近23魔方收到了她的来信，向我们讲述了她的故事。
△ Mia H
在我只有 18 个月大的时候，我被我的美国爸爸妈妈从广东省茂名市信宜市属的社会福利院收养。在四五岁的时候，我问过他们关于我亲生父母的一些信息。我想知道他们的名字、他们的年龄、他们的长相以及为什么要把我送去福利院。养父母无法回答我的这些疑问，但他们却同意带我寻找亲生父母。
随着科技的发展，通过基因匹配寻亲成为可能后，爸爸为我在美国做了 23andme 的 DNA 检测，并且把我的 DNA 数据上传到了各种 DNA 数据库。然而，这些数据库中大多是西方国家居民的 DNA 样本，很少有中国人的 DNA 样本，所以能找到我中国亲人的几率很小。但幸运的是，随着数据库规模的扩大，我还是通过 DNA 数据匹配上了两位来自中国的三代表亲。他们都是年轻人，在美国上学和工作，并进行了 DNA 测试。而他们的父母和祖父母以前的确住在信宜市。
一次偶然的机会，我从我的一个表亲（也被收养到了美国）那里得知，最近她把她的 DNA 结果上传到了中国一家叫23魔方的基因检测公司的数据库中。得知这个信息后，我爸爸花了三年时间跟踪这家公司，一直等到23魔方的数据库变得足够大和成熟后，才在2020年8月上传了我的 DNA 数据。
很快，23魔方为我匹配到了一位一代表亲！但是，我在23魔方 App 中给这位一代表亲发了好几条信息，但她却一直没有回复。于是我爸爸联系了23魔方的工作人员，希望他们能帮忙联系。工作人员很乐意帮忙，说他们会尽力而为。很快，我的一代表亲在工作人员的沟通后，就回复了我。她说她姓周，她知道自己的叔叔在我出生的同一年把自己的一个孩子送养了。我们交换了微信，开始了一系列地沟通。她帮我联系了她叔叔的女儿，也就是我可能的姐姐。姐姐和她的父母也都同意在23魔方做基因检测，并与我的 DNA 信息进行匹配验证。
之后的检查结果证实，这个女孩就是我的亲姐姐！她的父母就是我的亲生父母！尽管23魔方已经让很多寻亲人得到了他们想要的答案，让他们与亲生家庭团聚，但我是第一个通过23魔方 DNA 数据库找到家人的海外寻亲者。
我会永远感激23魔方对我的帮助，我也建议所有想要寻找亲人的海外孤儿将他们的 DNA 数据上传到23魔方。
When I was 18 months old, I was adopted from the orphanage located in the Social Welfare Institute in Xinyi City, near the prefecture city of Maoming in the Guangdong Province. When I was four or five year’s old, I asked my adoptive parents about my birth parents. I wanted to know the names of my birth parents, their ages, and what they looked like. I wanted to understand why they placed me for adoption. My parents said they did not know the answers to any of my questions but agreed to help me locate my birth parents.
After autosomal testing became available, my dad had my DNA tested and entered in as many DNA databases as possible. However, these databases were filled with DNA samples of individuals who lived in the West (i.e., the US and Europe). Very few of these DNA samples belonged to individuals of Chinese descent. Fortunately, as these databases grew in size and number my DNA matched to two 3rd cousins. Both were young men (whose parents and grandparents had previously lived in Xinyi City) who attended college in America and were working in the US when they had their DNA tested. I reached out to my 3rd cousins and both were very helpful by providing information about their living relatives and ancestors. We used this information to create family tree diagrams in the hope that the information on these charts would eventually intersect and point to my birth family, but they never did.
By chance, I made contact with another adoptee who was one of my distant cousins and who recently uploaded her DNA results in the 23Mofang DNA database. My dad had been tracking the growth of this database for the past three years. We were waiting until the 23Mofang database had grown large and mature enough before uploading my DNA data.
In August 2020, I uploaded my DNA tests results and my DNA matched to a 1st cousin. Although I sent the 1st cousin several messages within the 23Mofang application, she did not reply. So my dad reached out to a 23Mofang customer service representative and requested they reach out to the 1st cousin to ask her to consider replying to my text messages, if she chose to do so. 23Mofang was happy to help and said they would try to make contact with the 1st cousin. Soon after 23Mofang made contact, my 1st cousin replied to me. Her surname was Zhou. She knew her uncle had placed a child for adoption the same year I was born and so replied to my messages. We exchanged WeChat IDs and began a conversation. She put me in touch with her uncle’s oldest daughter and the uncle’s daughter and her parents agreed to take a DNA test. The test results confirmed that the uncle’s daughter was my biological sister and her parents were my biological parents.
Although 23Mofang had already reunited two dozen children adopted domestically within China with their birth families, I was the first international adoptee who matched to a Chinese birth family via the 23Mofang DNA database.
I will be grateful to 23Mofang forever for contacting my 1st cousin and helping me make contact with her.
I recommend that any international Chinese adoptee, who desires to reconnect with his or her birth parents, upload their DNA test results within the 23Mofang DNA database. As my dad says, “It is not a question of if they will receive a match but when it will occur. As the database grows in size, it is only a matter of time before that adoptee will connect with a close relative (i.e., 1st or 2nd cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent, sibling, or birth parent).”
--- Mia H.