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China's two-child policy means more babies named after mum

[July 25, 2020: Today Online]



When Ms Wang Rong gave birth to her second son, she reminded her husband of a promise he made even before their wedding: to let her pass on her family name.


"My dad had two girls and I didn't want our family line to end with us," the mother from Shanghai told AFP.


"I didn't want my dad to be disappointed for not having a son."


Giving the mother's surname to a child is gaining traction in Chinese cities, defying deeply entrenched family traditions in the country. 

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The country's one-child rule, which ran from 1979 to 2016, meant daughters have also been tasked with safeguarding their parents' wealth and bloodline — previously this had been the preserve of male heirs. 


This caused a shift in some family's attitudes but it was the law change to allow couples to have two children that has ignited the trend for kids to be given the maternal name.


Now, some parents are giving the father's family name to the first born and the mother's to the second child.


Few statistics exist on the issue, but one in 10 babies born in Shanghai in 2018 had their mother's surname, according to the city's population management office.... MORE