Jenna Cook: The Adopted Girl Claimed By 50 Birth Families

In March 1992, a baby girl was left at a bus station in China. She was discovered and taken to a nearby orphanage. A few months later, she was adopted by an American woman, who renamed her Jenna, and taken to the US, where she grew up happily in a loving home.

Years later she returned to China to search for her birth family. A local newspaper picked up on her search and published a story about her. Hundreds of people responded to the article. Fifty of the respondents wrote to say that they thought they might be Jenna’s birth parents. Each of them had left a baby on the same street in March of 1992.

Jenna Cook and her adoptive mother agreed to meet with each of these families. It was an overwhelming experience. Jenna says, “In the US there is this dominant narrative that the reason why Chinese parents abandon children is because they don’t like girls, and maybe they don’t even remember them.” But this, she found, was simply not true. “They all remembered their babies forever – it was this experience that they really regret and that they would never forget.”

Read the story here.

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