Li Still In Hiding After Giving Birth

By WRIC Volunteer Li Yuanlong                                                        09-09-2010


Miss Li went into hiding during her pregnancy. She gave birth in hiding. Could Li, the Bijie, Guizhou woman now live normally in the open after the child was born? Unfortunately, that was not the reality.


On Aug 8,2010,  I visited Miss Li’s house. There was no one there to answer the door or the telephone. Based on memory, I found her paternal uncle’s house, where she was in hiding during her pregnancy. She had already changed to another hiding place. A sister of Li’s who remembered me led me to her maternal uncle’s house. After navigating a labyrinth through four or five gates, I saw Li and her two-months-old daughter Yao Siqi. The tiny, reddish baby in my memory had become cute and pudgy. Li did not know how heavy she had grown. Nobody dared to bring an “illegal” baby into the streets to find a scale. All that mattered was that the child had ate and slept well so far.

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Ms.Li and her children. (photo by WRIC)

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Ms.Li and her husband are forced to go to Shenzhen for labor late, unable to see their kids for long time.


I asked Li why she was still in hiding after the baby was born. There was no choice, she said. If government Birth Planning agents found her, they would send her to sterilization operations by force. Li and her husband did not hate girls. But in the Chinese countryside, it was still extremely difficult to survive in old age without a son. She planned to talk with her husband to figure out if they wanted another child, to try her luck at a son. I told her that nowadays there was not much difference between sons and daughters. But Li said sadly, “Without a son I can’t even go to my husband’s family home. It’s hard to keep going when you are blamed for ‘ending the family line’ every day.”


On the 25th of October,2010, Li’s mother came to receive the aid for Li and Li’s niece. Two days later, Li’s mother was hospitalized for high blood pressure. Li’s father, near sixty, was still living in Xingyi, Guizhou as a migrant worker.