Parents want to sell daughter to save their son with cancer

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It was an act of sheer desperation with undercurrents of a deeper issue...

In an act of sheer desperation and maybe gender discrimination, parents resorted to child selling in China – of their little girl. They did this in order to "save" her twin brother – their only son.  

Chinese couple Liang Yujia and Chen Lanqin, from China's Sichuan province, have come under fire and their crowdfunding sources have been frozen. This is after netizens found out that they were offering up their daughter for sale, in exchange for medical fees for their son. 

Parents to four-year-old twins, Yujia and Lanquin, made the decision to take this drastic step after their son, nicknamed Chengcheng, was diagnosed with leukaemia in July. 

Parents Resort to Child Selling in China 

In an effort to "save" their son, the father took a photograph of himself holding his daughter with the sign "Giving daughter away to save our son."

They also wrote that they required a total sum of 560,000 yuan (S$111,848) to help their son and had already spent 50,000 yuan. In the sign, they also added that their daughter was "cute and lively" and that they were unable to provide a good life for her.

The post further read that they were willing to part with and sell their daughter in exchange for money that they could use as medical fees for their son.  

The picture with all these notifications soon went viral, leaving netizens enraged. 

Some demanded that the parents be immediately sent to jail for their "illegal" act. Others suggested that they be reported to the police. 

The couple were even running crowdfunding pages on three sources including Aixinchou, Shuidichou and Chunyuchou. All of the websites froze their crowdfunding efforts as soon as this photograph went viral. 

Crowdfunding Websites Freeze Account After Incident of Child Selling in China Comes to Light 

The Aixinchou website reportedly released a statement on August 10, announcing that the couple raised over 50,000 yuan since posting on their site on July 12. But they are now freezing it till further notice.  

"We understand (the father's) anxious desire to save his son but the negative consequences caused by such actions are incalculable," the website statement read. 

The website also added that all the money that they have received since freezing the account and/or continue to receive will be directed to his medical care. They are now sending funds directly to the hospital, as opposed to the parents. 

Parents Selling Child in China Apologise 

After the uproar about their alleged actions, the mother publicly apologised for their actions. She even shared that they didn't intend on selling their daughter but were desperate for financial help. 

Lanqin said that all three crowdsourcing websites had frozen their accounts. She further added that they managed to raise about 39,000 yuan from Shuidichou and 1,000 yuan from Chunyuchou

She reportedly told Beijing Youth Daily, "We will not give her away, of course not, not to anyone. People have asked us how much it will cost or asked to adopt her but we have refused it all."

Her husband also later came out for interviews and apologised. He even told The Beijing News that "I wanted to attract society's attention to raise money, which is why I (displayed the sign)." He stated that the family barely earned 7,000 yuan per month and were not in a position to pay their son's medical fees. 

"We now know that it was inappropriate and not properly considered," his wife Lanqin added. 

While the parents selling child in China are now contemplating selling off their home to raise money for their son, they have started a global debate. Why is it so easy to ignore the girl and not the boy? And how does it impact your girl? 

How Gender Discrimination Affects a Girl's Psychology 

Gender inequality can play a significant role in a child's behaviour, especially during her teenage years. The constant reminder that she is less than her brothers, less qualified, less capable, less responsible and less human can greatly affect how she may think about herself. 

As Plan International states, "Gender discrimination and women’s low status are at the root of women’s limited autonomy and of the denial of their rights to health and bodily integrity: when women suffer poor mental and physical health and limited decision-making power this, in turn, impacts negatively on their children’s survival, healthy growth and development." 

Apart from low-self esteem, a girl child who is subjected to constant discrimination can suffer from the following issues.  

  • Low confidence
  • Lack of social awareness 
  • Constantly questioning self-worth 
  • Fear of strangers 
  • Lack of knowledge about the other sex
  • Fear of the other sex
  • Depression 

If you don't want your daughter to suffer from these, take matters in your own hands and treat your kids with equal respect and love.

It's also important to teach girls to be self-reliant and independent. Help them learn how to fight their own battles and not rely on the other gender. That's why it's important to teach girls a few life lessons.  

3 Life-Lessons Our Daughters Must Learn

  • Don't be a damsel in distress. A girl doesn't have to be a damsel in distress. Instead, she can be strong enough to not need a Prince Charming to help her in distress. Enroll your daughters in self-defence classes, and help them help themselves. Never say "no" to an activity you just allowed your boys to do. Set the right example for all kids, irrespective of their gender.
  • Empower yourself with progressive thoughts. Teach your daughter to not discriminate against anybody irrespective of their caste, creed, sex or religion. Lead by example and explain why we must respect everybody's life choices. But at the same time, do not encroach on their freedom to exercise theirs. 
  • Uplift other women. This is an important life-lessons we must teach our girls. Teach your daughters that as opposed to taking criticism by the same gender as negative, we must take it as constructive feedback. And, use this to better ourselves.


Source: AsiaOne

Feature and lead images courtesy: Screengrab YouTube

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj