This English translation was originally published on the China Partnership Blog on March 29, 2019, and is replicated here with permission. We thank Hannah, Brent, and the China Partnership translation team for their work. Background research information in the introduction.

Conclusion: The Hope of Single Mothers

“Single mothers in China hope for the same thing, that government policies would no longer fine them and that they may easily register their children for a hukou. If, in addition to this, they also received affirmation and support from society, then that would be even better. As single mother Gezi said, ‘Just raising a child is hard enough. But single mothers do not have the means to protect themselves or to live independently, much less to fight for themselves.’

…As for support from society, there are almost no organizations that help single mothers, due to the fact that their reproductive decisions are illegal according to China’s family planning regulations. The only organization I found online that offers help to single mothers is unregistered and does not have a physical office. It is a Buddhist organization made up of volunteers from different Buddhist temples. The organization is struggling to stay in operation due to lack of funds. The help it can offer to single mothers is very limited.

Single mother Mengmeng still hopes for the best. ‘I think that however different each single mother’s story is, there is one thing we all share in common—namely, as a disadvantaged group, we all need the affirmation and support of society.’

May the day come when mothers who give birth out of wedlock are no longer punished by laws and policies; may people be more understanding of single mothers and respect their decision to give birth; and may we see more governmental organizations and NGOs offering financial and emotional support to impoverished single mothers and children.

Prayer Points (China Partnership):

  • Pray that Christ would be the hope of single mothers in China. Ask God to provide the earthly benefits of hukous and social acceptance to the children of single mothers, but pray that both mothers and children will know of their eternal hope in heaven and the promise of the Holy Spirit for those in Christ.
  • May God’s people be a light to society by demonstrating what is good, true, noble, and life-giving through their treatment of single mothers against what is false, self-righteous, and cruel. 
  • Pray that the church becomes the first in action caring for China’s single mothers. May the glory God’s name deserves in such work not go to Buddhist organizations or secular NGOs, but may it be done in Christ’s name.

READ: China’s Invisible Women, An Intro: The Unbelievable Dilemmas Single Moms Face