“Zhilan’s” mom was ready to give her away to strangers, until she talked to our fieldworker!
November 20 is World Children’s Day, commemorating the day in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Today, 61 years later, let us remember that an estimated 200 million women and girls throughout the world are “missing” through sex-selective abortion, abandonment, and fatal neglect. But we are saving baby girls in China!
This radiant little girl, Zhilan, is such a girl. Unfortunately for her, she is the third daughter in her family. Under China’s Two Child Policy, even second daughters are at risk of being aborted or abandoned. Too many third daughters like Zhilan are never allowed to see the light of day.
Zhilan’s family is poor, and did not want a third child, much less a third daughter. Her mother was afraid of the harsh financial penalties of having a third child under China’s Two Child Policy. Therefore, the family was thinking about giving Zhilan away to strangers. They had even found a couple in a nearby city who wanted a daughter.
But Zhilan’s mother knew that something was wrong, because the thought of giving Zhilan away to strangers broke her heart. She could not bear the thought of a strange couple coming to take away her little daughter. In anguish, she did not know what to do.
Fortunately, one of our fieldworkers heard about Zhilan and visited the family to offer a monthly stipend for a year. With our encouragement Zhilan’s mother decided to keep her beautiful, third daughter. With tears in her eyes, she told our fieldworker, “Money is helpful, but this is something bigger than money. I made the decision that I will raise my daughter myself, because a stranger from far away wants to help her. Now I see that there is no excuse for me to give her away.”