the right to breastfeed

September 28th, 2008

The only comment I have on this piece is that it’s interesting. 新京报/The Beijing News’ Zhu Yan reports on the case of a mother suing her husband for the right to breastfeed their son:

孩子被抱走 母亲讨哺乳权

Child taken away, mother demands right to breastfeed


Court convenes on this city’s first case of mother demanding right to breastfeed


The son had been taken away by his father twice by the time he was six months old. His 36 year old mother searched everywhere but couldn’t find her child, so filed a plaint at court demanding the right to breastfeed her son. Yesterday morning, Huairou Court convened to hear this city’s first case of a mother demanding the right to breastfeed.

原告李佳说,她和丈夫刘军是在网上认识的。2007年9月结婚,婚后生有一子,如今只有半岁。但在自己怀孕期间, 丈夫长期不回家,今年5月,刘军将儿子带走,并且告诉她“要见儿子,除非离婚”。李佳到处寻找儿子未果。5月17日,李佳终于在刘军妹妹家找到了儿子,当 时家里没人,她迅速抱着孩子离开。7月,刘军以夫妻感情不和向法院提出离婚被驳回。理由是,按照法律孩子在哺乳期内,男方不得提出离婚。9月6日,刘军带 着几个人再次将孩子夺走。李佳多次寻找孩子未果,便将丈夫告上了法院。

The plaintiff Li Jia said she met her husband Liu Jun online. They married in September 2007, then had a son who is now only 6 months old. But when she was pregnant, her husband did not come home for long periods of time, and in May this year, Liu Jun took their son away, telling her “If you want to see your son, we must divorce.” Li Jia went to look for her son, but without result. On May 17, Li Jia finally found her son at Liu Jun’s younger sister’s house, and as there was no-one home at the time, quickly picked up the child and left. In July, Liu Jun filed for divorce in the court on the grounds that husband and wife did not get along well, but was rejected. The reason was that according to the law, when the child is still breastfeeding the husband can not file for divorce. On September 6 Liu Jun took several people with him and once again forcibly took the child away. Li Jia searched for her child several times but with no result, and so sued her husband.


Yesterday Liu Jun and Li Jia faced each other in court, each with their mothers also present. Liu Jun doesn’t believe he snatched the child, and only said “According to rural custom, when the child is two months old he should move house”, so he took the child to his mother’s house. Liu Jun said, Li Jia has no job, and so there is no way he would give the child to her. The court has yet to rule on this case. (All names above have been changed)

Like I said, interesting.

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