Angelina Liu celebrates her fourth birthday on July 25, 2021. Photo courtesy of Deputy Commissioner Robert Ganley/Twitter.
Angelina Liu will never meet her father. A gang member assassinated the New York Police Department detective and his partner in 2014, about two and a half years before his daughter was born.
The miracle birth to Angelina’s widowed mother, Pei “Sanny” Xia Chen, came about after doctors asked whether she wanted to extract sperm from her dying husband, Wenjian Liu, while he was on life support. Chen jumped at the opportunity.
And now, thanks to bipartisan legislation signed into law Saturday, Oct. 9, by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, little Angelina is legally considered the daughter of the hero detective, entitling her to benefits previously blocked by the Empire State’s estates, powers, and trusts law.
Because federal law follows state rules, New York’s reforms also will trigger the Social Security Administration to designate the child as Liu’s lawful daughter.
“The case of Angelina and Wenjian Liu is an extraordinary one for which special considerations are necessary,” Hochul said. “I am proud to ensure that Angelina Liu receives the benefits she is entitled to, and I hope with the signing of this legislation that Angelina and her family are able to remember Detective Liu in peace.”
The problem stemmed from Chen’s having been unable to get her husband’s written consent — signed in the presence of two witnesses — to use his sperm.
Coffee or Die Magazine was unable to reach Chen for comment on this story.
Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.
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