Migrant dads return home suspicious
By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-04 06:00
NANJING: As Spring Festival draws near, migrant workers are heading home for family reunions after a year of hard work. But for some of them, the happy moment is shadowed with a sense of suspicion over the fidelity of their long-separated spouses.
This explains the rising number of paternity tests at this time of the year.
"We are always busiest during the run-up to Spring Festival," said Cui Yugui, head of the Paternity Test Centre affiliated to Jiangsu Provincial People's Hospital. "It is the peak time for paternity tests."
Several migrant workers walk towards the Beijing Railway Station for a ride home January 2, 2006. Many rural laborers are returning to their homes after working in cities for a year. [newsphoto]
According to Cui, the centre has received more than 10 requests a day since mid-November, as compared to two or three each day normally.
About 90 per cent of those who bring their children for tests are fathers. "Some are sceptical about their newborn babies," said Cui.
"They (the migrant workers) are separated from their spouses for a large part of the year. They don't earn much, but they choose to spend a lot on the test. It is such a pity," said Cui.
Cui said his centre conducted about 500 tests around Spring Festival last year, of which 350 were requested by fathers who had worked in separate cities from their wives.
A survey done by the centre showed that 78 per cent of those seeking the tests suspected that their wives had been engaged in extramarital affairs when they were away working.
"Mothers are generally reluctant to come. When a mother turns up, she is often a single mother who wants to get evidence to find out the biological father of the child so she can demand compensation," said Cui.