Author: karenb

Chinese couple in Tennessee will get their daughter back [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-12-12 11:02:43 |Display all floors

Reply #28 drwatson's post

When you are in a situation where money is tight the last thing you want to do his have more kids.  Having children, when faced with financial problems, facing visa issues and not being married (in the eyes of US law) would appear to me to rather irresponsible.   They must have realised that the situation for their additional children was also going to be precarious.

Strange that from the many cases of financial distress I had heard about, only this one ended with a custody battle.  There must be something else going on or am I missing something?

I thought there was some parental over-discipline involved as had happened in many cases involving Chinese parents spanking their kids for misbehavior.

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Post time 2007-12-12 14:20:54 |Display all floors

No, there was no spanking or anything...

They voluntarily put their first child -- Mei -- into foster care because she was born early with complications -- she had to be in the hospital for several weeks which ran up a huge medical bills.  Just before the baby was born, Mr. He was fired from his teaching position at the university (for false allegations of sexual misconduct for which he was later cleared in court) -- thus leaving the family TEMPORARILY indigent and without health insurance.  They were very concerned because the baby was premature and frail, and they thought she would need continuing medical care. Because they were on student visas, they didn't qualify for Medicaid or other government assistance, so the social workers told them the only way they could get health insurance for the baby was to put her into temporary foster care.  They were alone in a foreign country, and thought they were doing what was best for their child.

And then the temporary foster care turned into  8 years of battling with the foster parents to get the child back.  

Within a few months, they both obtained jobs at Chinese restaurants (working illegally, of course, but still, it was an income), and Mr. He eventually became a manager, so their financial situation was ok.  They could afford the next two children.  Within a few months they could afford to care for Mei, and asked for her back, but the courts refused to return her, because Mr. He said he planned to return with her to China, and the foster parents said that China had a 50% fatality rate for female children, and the courts just believed what the foster father said.

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Post time 2007-12-12 19:34:26 |Display all floors
There are so many cases of disastrous decisions and misappropriation in custody battles involving Chinese parents in America that I have lost count of them.  

Many less ridiculous cases hardly make a dent in the news because they are so common.  This instant case here raises concern because it is so plainly ridiculous.  It is actually kidnapping by legal means if you think about it. Most Chinese students or new immigrants do not understand the intricacies of laws involving student health insurance, Medicaid, child custody, etc. while overseas.

There was recently a case involving a woman who married a Caucasian and ended up getting divorced because of alleged beatings.  Usually the child goes with the mother in most custodial cases but not in this one.  The dad was able to obtain sole custody of the child.  The mom went to the school and kidnapped the child and brought him back to China.  

The father died in a few years and the woman thought the custody battle was over.  Little did she know that she's already listed as a fugitive from law.  So after a long hiatus she re-entered the States through the Canadian border, and then she was promptly arrested.  The child was placed under foster care in a stranger's home.  Imagine the trauma induced in the child.  

To digress a bit on today's online romances and marriages involving international couples.

In some cases that I knew of, it was the fault of the Chinese woman who married the American man just to get the green card and leave.  This happens especially in cases in which the woman has recently gone through a divorce in China, has a child and wants to give the child "a better life" abroad.  

So this kind of woman has an ulterior motive from Day One.  She leaves China with the foreigner without telling the boy's biological father (yes, some women can do very bad things) on the pretense that the latter is not paying child support.  The American guy might be on welfare or permanent workman's comp disability in the States so he doesn't care so long as he could get a young woman to stay with him.  

This is especially common in so-called online romances.  It would seem that some people go online to fish for a prey and not for a life partner.  It's not like in the old days when the families of the two people knew each other from Day One.  

When I think back on those days, I can't help but marvel at the wisdom of our ancestors.  The so-called revolutionary thinkers of the previous century did away with this tradition because all they saw was how unfair some of these so-called loveless marriages turned out to be.  

The dichotomy here stems from the fact that marriage is actually a social function, and the physical part is the least of all considerations.  Romances tend to emphasize the wrong things in a relationship and that's why so many romances based on so-called free love end up as tragedies.  

While I am not advocating returning to the old days of arranged marriages, I do believe there's a lot of merit in the old system especially the part about knowing the family backgrounds of one other well.  One can pretty much gauge what kind of life he or she will have with the potential partner by watching his/her familial interactions. In other cases, it is because the woman was enticed under false pretenses to marry a much older foreign man thinking that he was loaded.  

I think the Chinese government has a responsibility towards its citizens by telling them exactly how the economic situation is in America and other places, and not leave it up to false depictions in American movies and TV sitcoms.  It should educate the masses through accurate portrayals in the media and then many unfortunate incidents affecting so many women could have been avoided.  

Too many innocent Chinese and other Asian women have ended up working in the brothels in New Jersey and Los Angeles simply because they have this false image of America as being the heaven on earth, a place where anybody can get a proper job making several times the income that someone in China does because of the RMB exchange rate difference.  They often ended up owing 40K or 50K to the snakeheads who then controlled them as soon as they arrive in American shores on account of those debts, and were then sold into organized crime for a life of prostitution.

Naturally no Chinese woman in her right mind would give up an unexciting but adequate life in China to go to America, Middle East or Europe to work as prostitutes if the facts were presented accurately to them before departure.  

That this is happening more and more (especially to Europe) is a problem that I think the Chinese government needs to address and give proper attention by accurately reflecting the dangers of going abroad based solely on the allure that they could find a better-paying job or a richer husband overseas.  

In some cases it might be true that this is indeed the case, but in many cases it isn't, and unfortunately in Chinese culture there is a tendency to describe foreigners and foreign countries in larger-than-life depictions, leading many Chinese women to make false presumptions of what life might be in these foreign lands.

You can't believe how many Chinese women from cities such as Shanghai who meet a foreigner online, get married in a hurry, go overseas and eventually end up in bad situations.  

That's why I do believe the government has a role to play in all this -- especially in properly educating the public about the dangers of expedient marriages and overseas brothels.

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Post time 2007-12-13 07:11:20 |Display all floors

There's even websites & services out there... match up Chinese girls with foreign men (for marriage).  One of my former students is working with one of these organizations and trying to recruit other former students as potential bridesmaids.

I tell the girls to run the opposite direction as fast as they can -- that any man that needs to advertise for a bride on the internet is NOT a good catch -- he's probably old, fat, has personality disorders, or is some macho maniac who has the idiotic idea that all Asian women are subservient little dolls.

One of my former students has a perfectly nice boyfriend -- a decent, hard-working, nice-looking, polite young man who is the manager of a tea/ice cream shop,  but she is being lured away from her young man by the promise of a "rich" American husband.   


At any rate, here's another article on He Shaoqiang and his family: ... returning-to-china/

They are returning to China to avoid deportation proceedings, but if I were them, I'd be returning anyway -- too many bad memories for them in America.

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Post time 2007-12-13 15:12:33 |Display all floors
The cases you have quoted here are genuine, and they reflect the mentality of a portion of the population at large.  

The country is already short of females because of the one-child policy, which means quite a few young men aren't able to find suitable partners, and yet these priced females are looking for greener pastures over the mountain.

It doesn't take a genius to figure that a laowai on welfare earns more in terms of RMB than a lawyer in China.  So the misconception has been that it is much better to marry a bum in America than a rocket scientist in China.

This concept is of course misguided because 1500 USD used in New York is nothing -- you can't even rent a decent room in Manhattan for $1500 a month, but in RMB even at 1:7.4 exchange rate you can live very comfortably in China on that kind of income.

I agree that online dating is dangerous to the extreme for both men and women.  

A man never knows for sure if he hadn't just talked to a sweet prostitute who wants to marry him just to con him out of his money.

A woman never knows for sure if she hadn't just talked to a brothel pimp posing as the next best thing to Bill Gates.

Anyone can be anything online and that's why there are so many pedophiles out there on the prowl.

The government has a role to play in this because it alone has the resources to reach all the young people.

These days the best opportunities for the Chinese are in China, as is partly reflected by the fact that there are more billionaires to all other countries except one.

There is nothing these people cannot do in China that they can do elsewhere.

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Post time 2008-2-10 22:34:30 |Display all floors

Anna and family have arrived back in China

A couple days too late to celebrate the New Year, but in time for Lantern Festival and to get the kids enrolled in school for 2nd semester.

Welcome, Mei Ann, and parents and other children!

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Post time 2008-2-11 14:33:08 |Display all floors
All's well that ends well.

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