Entries in Babies (4)


Blind Dates and Matchmaking for Babies in China

Courtesy Deng Family(BEIJING) -- Parents in China are so worried about their children finding a spouse that they often arrange blind dates or pressure their children to attend matchmaking events.  Still, some parents are taking it to a new extreme: they are starting to look for a future spouse for their children while they are still using pacifiers.

Take 2-year-old Duoduo, for example. Earlier this week, on a day celebrated in China as Bachelors' Day, she arrived at a party with her parents in downtown Changsha, Hunan province.  Besides Duoduo, there were 30 babies between the age of 1 to 3 accompanied by their parents.

This baby matchmaking event was organized by a website called BB Groupon, which sells baby care products.  The matchmaker, Deng Peng, is the market manager of the website and Duoduo's father.

He explained that the parents born after China's one child policy became law in 1979 don't have siblings.  As in many families, Duoduo lives with her grandparents during the weekdays while her parents are working.  Most of the time she plays alone, and it is difficult for her to make friends her own age.  He says she is lonely and getting depressed.

"I'm very worried about my daughter being alone.  We want to organize this event to offer a platform for babies to meet and play together.  It is very difficult for me to meet new people and it took me a long time to meet my wife.  On the Bachelors' Day, adults are trying to find spouses.  The babies shouldn't be alone either.  It is too early to talk about marriage, of course, but it would be a welcome miracle if they really got married one day," said Deng Peng.

Parents believe this is a great way for their children to practice their social skills and gain experience with the other sex.  

A 24-year-old father, Mr. Yao, said, "Through this kind of event, I hope my baby boy can build up his confidence and learn how to introduce himself properly in public.  After he gained those skills, it would be much easier for him to find a spouse in the future."

Duoduo may have been overwhelmed by how many boys were at the party.  Besides her, there were only two other little girls and 27 boys.  

The gender imbalance in China has soared since ultrasound technology became widely available in the 1980s and millions choose to abort baby girls in favor of having a son.  The Chinese Academy of Social Science estimates that by 2020, 24 million Chinese men will be unable to find a wife.

After a few throws and kicks of the balloons, Duoduo was holding hands with a handsome toddler.  Only time will tell if it is a true love match.

"We will try to arrange the two of them to play together often in the future.  Maybe they can go to pre-school together," said Duoduo's father.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Auspicious Beginnings: More Babies Born During Year of Dragon

ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.) -- Monday is Chinese New Year, and it marks the beginning of the year of the dragon, which only comes around every 12 years.

In Chinese culture, it is considered good fortune to be born during the year of the dragon, and so many mothers are trying to get pregnant.

Expectant mother Cho Ling Chezem of Grand Rapids, Mich. was surprised to learn she was pregnant, and she wasn’t sure she was ready to be a mom.

“Then, people and family mentioned it will be, baby will be born in dragon year and I was thinking not bad, actually it’s good,” said Chezem.

Chezem was even more excited when she learned her baby would be a boy.

“People prefer a boy in China, to carry on the family name,” Chezem said.

Yi Ling Cummings of Grand Rapids, Mich. is expecting a baby girl and is thrilled that her daughter will be born in the year of the dragon.

“We believe dragon is very magic, they bring good luck to people,” Cummings said.

In Hong Kong, expectant mothers are fighting to find an empty bed in maternity wards.

Many expectant mothers travel from mainland China to Hong Kong to give birth every year, according to the Tapei Times. Giving birth in Hong Kong gives the child education rights and offers a loop hole around China’s one child policy.

Mainland mothers accounted for 38,043 out of 80,131 births in Hong Kong last year, according to the Tapei Times, and a baby boom is expected in 2012 because it’s the year of the dragon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Canadian Couple Has New Year's Babies Back-to-Back 

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MEDICINE HAT, Alberta) -- Bobbi Jo and Kurtis Ketcheson of Alberta, Canada had back-to-back New Year's babies. Their son Jack was born on Jan. 1, 2011 and was the first baby of the past year in the town of Regina.

Their newest addition, a daughter named Grace Olivia, was born at Medicine Hat Regional Hospital on Jan. 1, 2012. Grace was born at 12:46 a.m. on Sunday, becoming the first baby of the New Year at that hospital.  She arrived 365 days and four minutes after older brother, Jack. Both were premature babies and weren’t expected until February of their respective years.

Bobbi Jo Ketcheson had been asked to sign a consent form for an emergency C-section, but the baby didn't cooperate. Ketcheson tells, she shouted, "I don't have time for a C-section. Somebody lift up the blanket and catch. She was born right there on the operating table." The couple has a total of four children.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Russia: Girls Switched at Birth Want to Stay with Wrong Moms

Yuliya Belyaeva, left, speaks with Irina and her biological father Naimat in Kopeisk. (Valery Zvonarev/AFP/Getty Images)(KOPEISK, Russia) -- A pair of 12-year-old girls who discovered they were accidentally switched at birth want to stay with the mothers who have been raising them rather than go to their real parents.

The girls have grown up just a few miles away from each other in the town of Kopeisk in the Ural Mountains of eastern Russia.

Their mothers gave birth in the same maternity ward just 15 minutes apart in 1999, and their infant daughters were inadvertently given the wrong name tags.

Their true identities were revealed after the ex-husband of Yuliya Belyaeva, one of the mothers, refused to pay for child care because his daughter, Irina, looked nothing like him. After conducting several DNA tests it emerged that neither adult was Irina's biological parent.

"The judge couldn't believe it," Belyaeva told the BBC. "She said she'd only seen cases like this on TV and didn't know what to advise us."

The DNA tests sent Belyaeva on a search for her own daughter. She remembered that when she was giving birth, another woman was also in labor in the same ward. She suspected that the maternity ward had mixed up their daughters.

"I made a photocopy of the DNA test results and went straight to the prosecutor's office. There I lodged an official complaint about being given the wrong baby in the maternity hospital," Yuliya said.

Yuliya finally took her search to the local police who managed to trace her biological daughter living just a few miles away with Irina's natural parents.

"It was true," Yuliya remembered. "Their daughter, Anya, was blonde and looked just like me and my ex-husband. And our daughter was dark-skinned and had dark hair and looked like the other father. He's a Tajik, and she looked just like him."

"Suddenly my whole world turned upside down and inside out,'' she recalled.

While the girls admit that they were happy to have found each other, neither one wants to leave the family they grew up with even though they are not their biological parents.

While both families are getting to know each other and are becoming closer, they're suing the hospital and demanding almost $160,000 in damages.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio