The Orphan’s Life in China

More than ninety percent of babies in Chinese orphanages are girls. Prior to 1949, it was common for parents to murder girl infants. From the 1950s to the end of the 1970s, due to Mao’s leadership and a tough stance for women’s equality, the death rate went down. Then in the 1980s, with the population growing too fast, a desperate government implemented the one-child policy.

After that, many girl babies went missing or were abandoned to state-run orphanages. To end this tragedy, the government eventually allowed rural families to have two children per family—hoping for a boy.

The conditions in these rural, state-run orphanages are often not ideal. Girls, who are not adopted, usually end up being the caregivers for the younger children. Since these orphan caregivers were raised without the love of parents and siblings, they may not be loving themselves creating a cold environment to grow up in.

abandoned at birth

It isn’t as if China’s government has done nothing to stop a practice that has been around for thousands of years. During the 90s, tougher laws were passed but often ignored. Government inspectors were sent to rural areas to enforce these laws, but it isn’t easy controlling a population of 1.3 billion scattered over a mountainous country almost the size of the United States.

I will not criticize the Chinese government for these conditions. I’ve been to China and understand the challenges.

What would you do if you had inherited a medieval country in 1949 that was bankrupt due to the Kuomintang looting the banks and treasury as they fled to Taiwan under American protection?

Then there is a culture reaching back thousands of years where girls were considered worthless. That is a lot to overcome.

Learn of Gendercide in China and India, and also discover the heart-breaking story of one orphan’s journey in Saying Goodbye


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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2 Responses to The Orphan’s Life in China

  1. Donna says:

    “culture reaching back thousands of years where girls were considered worthless” that hurts because in a new age China should bring in a new light of hope for its own good.

    • Cultures do not change over night. Women and children were treated equally bad or worse in the United States (the only major difference was foot binding). It wasn’t until the early 20th century that woman gained the right to vote in the US and own property without being owned by a man in return and it wasn’t until the 20th century that laws were passed to protect children from being sold into servitude as young as three (the average age for being sold into servitude or slavery in coal mines, factories and average age was about age six. It was age nine to twelve for whore houses. In fact, there were laws in the US before the 20th century in some states that allowed prostitution as young as nine. That was when white men ruled supreme because they were the only citizens that were allowed to vote. In the 18th century after the rebellion created the US, only rich white men that owned property were allowed to vote (Jewish men were excluded). In addition, black men were given the right to vote soon after the Civil War but black women were not and white women still had about fifty-five years to go earn that right.

      You may want to read this to learn more about chattel slavery in the US and the political struggle by reformers to change this:

      In China, these changes took place in one day in 1949 when Mao said women hold up half the sky. In the US it took about 150 years of struggle and the job is still not completed because GOP dominated states are blocking the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment. Why? fundamentalist Christians do not want women to have total control over their bodies due to the hot-button political issue of abortion.

      After governments pass laws, it takes time to change the people that grew up under the old ways. Cultures do not change over night.

      The global war on Islamic terror is an example of that fight. Islamic Fundamentalists want to hold on to the old ways and resist changing. These terrorists that want to destroy Western civilization see the West as the influence that is leading changes in Islamic countries to change the way women and children are treated.

      And there are other countries struggling to change their own cultures that treat women and children brutally. India is another example and the government there has passed laws but does little to enforce them so not much has changed. But in China, changes are taking place in both urban and rural China–faster in urban China though.

      However, when the topic of China comes up, critics in America expect China to make such changes in an eye blink. There are so many ignorant people in American that hate or fear China that US politicians every major election make sure to bash China so he or she does not lose votes from that segment of adult voters. No politician wants to be seen as soft on China. Then after the election, the government is back to dealing with China as it did before the election meaning what has been the norm for the last thirty years or more since China opened its doors to world trade and joined the WTO.

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