Wed, May 03, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Group helps woman search for father

EMBRACEDAnni Mu’s mother was shunned by her family when she announced her pregnancy in 1963, but her daughter has been welcomed home 54 years later

By Hung Jui-chin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Anni Mu, who is trying to trace her biological father, is pictured in US military uniform in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of Anni Mu

US citizen Anni Mu, the daughter of a Taiwanese woman and a US Army soldier who was stationed in Tainan in 1963, is searching for her biological father with the help of the American Military and Civilian Personnel in Tainan Research Association.

Now a resident of northern California, Mu in 2015 said on the association’s Facebook page that she was conceived in Tainan.

Her mother, Mu Ya-chiung, also known as Lucy Mu, told her that her father was a US soldier.

Anni Mu said she did not know her biological father.

He lived with Lucy Mu until their daughter was six months old before shipping out of Taiwan, Anni Mu said, adding that on her Household Registration document, her father is listed as “unknown.”

When she was nine years old, her mother married a man named John Irving and two years later the family emigrated to the US, Anni Mu said.

Lucy Mu died in 1979 without telling her daughter anything more about her biological father.

Lucy Mu’s family did not accept her relationship with the US solider and did not have contact with her after learning of her pregnancy, Anni Mu said.

Last year, Anni Mu contacted the association for help to search for her biological father.

Julia Freeman and a Taiwanese woman, surnamed Yang (楊), have been acting on Anni Mu’s behalf, searching police records, and have located her maternal uncle’s family, she said.

In October last year, Anni Mu and her eldest son, Kyle Costa, traveled to Taiwan for the first time since she left with her mother in 1974.

“I am surprised that I met friends and family I did not know I had,” Anni Mu said, adding that she did not think she would meet maternal relatives.

Her feelings were indescribable.

“My mother had a biracial child out of wedlock and I had thought that I was abandoned by her family, but my fears quickly vanished when I arrived in Taiwan,” she said.

She said she had a difficult childhood because she did not know her biological father, but being embraced by her mother’s family has given her a sense of belonging.

“I know now who made half of me,” she said.

Research association founder Hsieh Yin-ching (解吟情) said Tainan was the US’ principal military base in Taiwan at that time, but much has changed in the urban geography and many roads and lanes were built over or rerouted.

As Anni Mu was born in 1963, her biological father would have been part of the second phase of US deployments to Tainan and many people of that generation would have died by now, Hsieh said.

The search for Anni Mu’s biological father remains daunting because his name is not known, Hsieh said.

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