Chinese model mum with triplets discriminated against because she is unmarried

A Chinese model who could not find a husband did what she could to have children. Now the men in her country are slamming her as “selfish”.

A Chinese single woman wanting IVF treatment was forced to fly all the way to Thailand because her home country has banned the practice for unmarried females.

Li Xueke, a model and entrepreneur from China’s east, desperately wanted kids by the age of 30.

Unable to find the right man to act as a father for her future children, she resolved to acquire children by herself “through any means” and she settled on IVF.

However, Chinese hospitals are banned from giving out IVF treatment unless the recipient can provide a marriage certificate.

Surrogacy is also illegal in China, as is egg-freezing for single women. Yet married women can freeze their eggs and men of any relationship status can also freeze their sperm for use at a later date. Maternity leave benefits only apply to married women.

These reproductive rules have been slammed in the past as a way of forcing women into marriage.

Ms Li pushed on and gave birth to triplets four years ago after a visit to an IVF clinic in Thailand, The South China Morning Post reports.

She says she cops criticism and judgment from her male counterparts every day over her choice.

Four years ago, Ms Li was able to have kids by using sperm available at the Thai clinic which belonged to a British man.

She wanted a foreigner as her children’s biological father to avoid rumours circulating that she’d had an affair with a rich Chinese man and these were her illegitimate offspring.

In 2019, she gave birth to triplets — two boys and a girl.

Ms Li has an online presence where she shares her journey as a single mum of triplets.

The subject is still taboo and some viewers slammed her as “selfish” for choosing to go through with IVF rather than finding a husband to raise her kids.

Even Ms Li’s own mother was hesitant about her choice to go through IVF and bring up her children alone, despite having done the same thing as a single mum after her husband divorced her.

Ms Li hid her pregnancy from her mother and only revealed she’d had triplets a month after they had already been born.

The lingering effects of China’s “one-child policy” — which was introduced in 1980 to curb population growth and was only officially scrapped in 2015 — has seen a huge discrepancy in the number of males and females across the country.

China has 37.17 million more men than women.

The Asian country is only behind India, where males outnumber females by 54 million, according to The Statistics Times.

As of 2020, the number of children a Chinese woman has over her lifetime, on average, was just 1.3.

The plummeting birthrate has prompted experts to call for greater reproductive freedoms such as IVF and egg freezing available for single women.

Ultimately, Ms Li is happy with her decision and doesn’t take any of the criticisms to heart.

“I was raised by my mother alone,” she said in a video.

“My mother has given me adequate love. I don’t think I am different from others.

“On the contrary, my family background has given me bigger motivation and made me stronger and more independent.

“I think the most important thing is to give kids adequate love, whether the love is from the mother or father. At present, my mother and aunt help me raise my kids. They love my kids, just like me.

“Our family is happy every day, full of joy and laughter. This kind of atmosphere is the most important, I believe.”

Originally published as Chinese single mum discriminated against because she is unmarried