My Chinese Husband, Almost Switched at Birth | Speaking of China

12 Responses

  1. Sara
    Sara January 17, 2011 at 5:15 am | | Reply

    That is just unbelievable story! How could anyone even suggest something like that? I have heard how important it is to have a boy and some people are willing to go to great lengths to get one. Mothers want to know if they are expecting a girl so they can maybe get rid of it before the pregnancy is too far. But to change your already born child to someone else? How could they live after that knowing that their daughter is living nextdoor?

    Mao made many mistakes, but if Chinese people want to remember something from him, it should indeed be the sentence you wrote: women hold up half the sky.

  2. Henry Yeh
    Henry Yeh January 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm | | Reply

    The opposite is true with my family:
    I have two brothers and one sister, she being 11 years younger than I, and 5 years younger than my youngest brother. In fact, my youngest brother is the “unwanted” result in the attempt to have a daughter. For 10 long years my parents tried it all, & hundreds of thousands of NT$ later (enough to buy a new car), my sister was born on X-mas Eve, 1984.
    Gives new meaning to the proverbial 千金。

  3. tcg
    tcg January 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm | | Reply

    It happens. I exist merely for the fact that my sister was born first. If my sister was a brother I wouldn’t exist. In fact neither would my cousin his friend Jon and his friend James either! Funny old world eh?

    In the UK I know of a guy called P he and his wife are Chinese (though the mother is half Japanese), they had nine children all were girls. They kept thinking the next one will be….

    The old looking after thing is silly though, in Hong Kong my dad looks after both my grand parents. The daughters also regularly visit their mothers. Communication as in travel is easy now with extensive rail and airnetworks criss crossing China. thus the old going away never to be seen again is not really that much of a problem. That said Jocelyn what about YOUR parents? 😉 Tis a verra long way to go visit. My dad visits me now and again.

  4. Jason
    Jason January 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm | | Reply

    Nothing that drastic, but the Chinese girl I was dating in college is 1 of 4 sisters because their parents kept trying for sons but never got one. They were born and raised in the Philippines though, so their exposure to Chinese culture and language was mostly second hand. They don’t feel any of those cultural pressures themselves.

  5. Anna
    Anna January 18, 2011 at 3:30 am | | Reply

    Hi, I’m confused. Did this all happen before the One-Child Policy was instituted in China? How many years ago did this happen? One of my Chinese language teachers had a son about 30 years ago while living in Beijing. If the family had stayed in China, he would have been their only child. Then the family immigrated to the US about 20 years ago and a few years later had a daughter, which they were–of course–very happy about.

  6. Marcus
    Marcus January 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm | | Reply

    I actually never heard of rural Chinese or other Asian family who wants daughters ESPECIALLY for their only child? Don’t get me wrong! Times are changing. But the fact remains they want sons who can support the family through their old age and continue the family bloodline. With daughters, they usually get married off to their husband’s family.

    This happens in the West too. When the female gets married in the USA, she often changes her family name to her husband’s in effect continuing his family legacy.

  7. adam
    adam January 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm | | Reply

    It does happen in China. It reminds me a very famous opusculum in Chuan Wan. It’s a story talking about a spouse moving aroundwith their infant girls in order to give a birth to boy. Because of one-child policy they have to migrate like birds in the different provinces.

    And in China, there is another interesting phenomenon, a man married off to his wife’s family. We call him “Shang Meng Nv Xu”.

  8. Aorijia
    Aorijia January 23, 2011 at 11:16 am | | Reply

    Some wealthy people asked my grandma to sell them her baby boy in… post war Spain. People can go great lengths to “get” (sometimes in a quite literal way) the baby they desire. Luckily my grandma refused, for that baby boy she was asked to sell is my father.

    I feel times are slowly changing in China too. My Chinese husband’s paternal grandmother had 9 children. Only 2 of them were girls. My mother in law also had 2 boys (one of them, my husband), and many of the relatives had boys as well. When I got pregnant, everybody wished for a girl, because there were already too many boys in the family.

  9. toodous
    toodous September 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm | | Reply

    It happens.


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