China's first 'test-tube baby' adjusts life as newsmaker

By Satarupa Bhattacharjya ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-11-14 08:15:27

Zheng also dwells on the social stigma attached to assisted reproduction despite the passage of more than three decades since Chinese hospitals launched the measure.

"They may thank doctors and nurses in private for helping them have babies, but they are unlikely to openly talk about it," she says of even some young couples that undergo IVF.

In China, societies usually overemphasize the loss of face and it can transcend any number of areas from guest relations to fertility.

Fearing the worst for their fetuses, some women also tend to stay in bed for most part of their pregnancies, bringing to halt all normal activities. And in some cases, children born through assisted reproduction, end up feeling isolated owing to the parents' overzealous attitude in protecting them, according to Zheng.

"This bird-in-a-gilded-cage syndrome is unhealthy for a child," she says, adding that it can make young adults afraid of failures in the real world and too dependent on their parents.

Unrelated to Zheng's analogy, which is specifically in the context of assisted reproduction, some analysts have previously commented that the country's one-child policy since the '70s (revised last month) may have unintentionally resulted in creating families that excessively fuss over their children.

Zheng parents had little understanding of processes such as IVF or intrauterine insemination when they arrived in Beijing desperate for a baby, she says.

But in the past two decades, much has changed in the field of assisted reproduction. For instance, childless couples today are able to do the research online before getting actual medical help.

With modern lifestyle, including high levels of stress taking a toll on the fertility of Chinese, the popularity of assisted reproduction will only grow in the coming years, Zheng says.

"More test-tube babies will be born."

Luan Shu and Feng Zhiwei contributed to this story.


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