A Beijing-based woman caught the attention of many netizens after posting a video campaign showing her looking for a sperm donor.
“I draw, I keep pet fish and grow flowers, I have three part-time jobs, I’m pretty stable,” the woman, only identified online as Alan, says.
In 2017, Alan was looking for a man to marry but later realized that she enjoys her own company, according to South China Morning Post
She started the online campaign to look for sperm donors after she couldn’t find a sperm bank that allowed unmarried women to apply.
Today, Alan wants to find a man who shares the same views and values, and doesn’t want to get married, but wants to raise a child together.
They can carry the economic responsibilities and help the child get an education. But if she can’t find the right man, Alan is also fine with a sperm donor with no strings attached.
Alan says that it is still not widely accepted in Chinese society for a woman to raise a baby on her own.
“Some people fear that a single mother cannot provide a complete family for the child; some men feel they are not being valued,” she said. “Some also believe it’s irresponsible to look for a donor online.”
Despite pressure from society, Alan believes that there are more options for women today as the media covers open discussions about diversity and free choices.
“Today the situation is different from the past,” she said. “Today we can have more choices, and our next generation will have even more diverse choices. By then, a voice will say proudly, my mother has fought for this.”
While the barriers preventing unmarried women to legally have a baby have been removed, there are still obstacles. Unmarried women who tried to have a child reportedly faced heavy fines and hurdles until 2016.
Women were not able to get their children a hukou, “the household permit that limits Chinese citizens to receiving social benefits, such as health care, in their town of residence.”
China is facing a low birthrate — the lowest since 2000
. But the government continues to ban unmarried women from having medical reproductive procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) in hospitals, and sperm banks are still denying their applications.
“We are in a background of encouraging birth in general, but there’s not enough attention on unmarried birth, or females’ freedom in giving birth,” staff at the Guangzhou-based Advocates for Diverse Family Network, Zhan Yingying, told SCMP.
In 2018, Zhan sent letters to the members of the National People’s Congress before their policymaking session, asking them to introduce or implement a law that would let unmarried women freeze their eggs.