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Foshan woman believes baby is cursed, gives it away

Posted: 08/23/2013 7:00 am

A post-90 mother in Foshan gave away her 5 month-old baby believing that it was bringing bad luck to her husband’s business. She then created a fake kidnapping case but police in Nanhai District figured out what she was up to and had the baby returned on August 19, Guangzhou Daily reported.

The curse she believed in originates from a Chinese superstition known as 八字相克 (eight digit incompatibility). That is, when a couple gets married they look at the eight digits that make up their birthday. Certain combinations are believed to bring bad luck, just as “1″ and “4″ (yaosi) next to each other in a Chinese phone number sounds like “want to die.”

Miss Qiu, 23, already has a two year-old daughter, but it’s since her five month-old younger daughter was born that the family’s luck started to take a turn for the worse. Because her 27 year-old husband’s natural remedies business was doing poorly, they would often fight and there were a number of illnesses in their extended family.

On August 7, Qiu’s friend A Ling told her she had a relative who was unable to have children and was enormously keen to adopt. Two days later, A Ling’s relative (her brother-in-law’s younger sister), Miss Chen, had Qiu send the baby’s luggage and transfer her paperwork to Dalang Town in Dongguan.

They met in Dalang on August 10 and Miss Chen agreed to adopt the “adorable” baby.

Qiu signed the adoption papers and urged Chen to treat the baby like it was her own. She turned down the 1,000 yuan that Chen’s family offered. Chen then returned to her native Henan Province with the baby.

Qiu explained the baby’s absence by saying it had been kidnapped by somebody who was demanding a 200,000 yuan ransom, believing that her husband would never be able to produce the money.

The husband, Mr. Li, went to the local police station in Dali and they traced the baby’s papers to Dongguan. Qiu, who was still in Dalang, came clean.

Li went up to Henan to find his baby and although Chen claims to have already developed a deep emotional connection with the baby, Luoyang police eventually talked her into giving it back. It returned home on August 19.

Chen reluctantly gives the baby back, image courtesy of Yangcheng Evening News

A prominent Guangdong lawyer Lin Cunbao said it is unclear what, if anything, Qiu will be charged with as no money changed hands.

Why would somebody hold such a superstitious belief in the year 2013? The Atlantic explained this recently in relation to the rise and fall of snake conjurer Wang Lin:

Superstitious beliefs have accompanied a general rise of spirituality in China, which has struggled to define its identity during the fat years of economic growth. While the government generally tolerates religion, exceptions remain: A surge of interest in the Falun Gong, a religion based around breathing exercises, led to its sudden and complete prohibition in 1999. Nevertheless, enthusiasm for spirituality hasn’t waned in the years since. Religious beliefs — both traditional and otherwise — have grown throughout the country, both in the urbanized upper class and among the rural poor.

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