The loss of single child


Are you the only child in your family? Have you thought about what your parents should do if you died young? In fact, this is not just an assumption, but the real story that is happening in a huge number of families.

Owing to the Family Planning Policy, most of China’s families are not able to have the second child. Some of them put all their love and hope on the child, only to lose him or her in a sudden. In China, we call this kind of family the “Shidu” family, which refers to the family which has lost their single child. According to the data from Health Department, there are more than 1 million Shidu families in China, and the number is added at a speed of 7.3 million per year.

“It is like someone has pushed the mute key of my life”, said the mother of a Shidu family. She lost her daughter in 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Like many other families, they tried to have another child, either by adopting or bearing one. But the stringent rule of adopting slammed the door on them, while their physical condition was not allowed them to give birth to a baby as well. Having a look at the statistical data of Liaoyang city, among the 295 dead people during one month, the age group of above ten years old took up 83.73%. Meanwhile, women’s fertility begins to drop at the age of 27, and the government encourages people to give birth at an older age. This means a slimmer hope for the families to have a child of their own. Even if they were lucky enough to have a baby, it would be a serious problem for the aging parents to bring up the child passionately and affluently.

Once a policy has been put forward, the government should take responsibility for any possible result it may bring about. Sympathy on those Shidu families is far from enough. Many things remain to be done, such as a special endowment insurance system, more mental and health care, and even a change in policy. Just as Zweig’s saying goes, the eternal progress only accepts the desirable part of every system, and throws away those might limit us just like throwing the fruit peel.



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