NEW YORK — Angelina Liu, often called the NYPD’s “miracle baby,” was legally named the genetic child of her father Det. Wenjian Liu on Saturday — the final step in a long-fought battle by her mother to ensure the child could receive benefits related to Liu’s line-of-duty death.
Pei Xia Liu told PIX11 News in June that her daughter doesn’t receive the same benefits as other children whose parents died in the line of duty because of the way she was conceived.
Pei Xia Liu gave birth to Angelina 2 1/2 years after her husband was slain. The killer took a bus to New York City from Baltimore, then shot Wenjian Liu and his partner, Rafael Ramos, as they sat in their patrol car on Dec. 20, 2014.
Wenjian and Pei Xia Liu had only been married three months at the time of the shooting. The grieving widow asked doctors to preserve her late husband’s sperm.
Nearly two years later, Pei Xia Liu underwent an InVitro Fertilization procedure and Angelina Liu was born on July 25, 2017.
However, Angelina Liu was not recognized as Wenjian Liu’s genetic child under the law.
A bill recognizing the special circumstances of Angelina’s birth, sponsored by state Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Peter Abbate, was passed by the state Legislature earlier this year but it sat on then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk, waiting to be signed into law.
On Saturday, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the bill, legally establishing Angelina Liu as the genetic child and distributee of Wenjian Liu for the purposes of estates, powers, and trusts law.
“The case of Angelina and Wenjian Liu is an extraordinary one for which special considerations are necessary,” Hochul said in a statement. “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 Det. Liu in peace.”
Gounardes and Abbate both hailed Hochul’s decision to sign the bill and expressed hope that it would give the family closure in honoring Wenjian Liu’s legacy and sacrifice.