Two sisters exchanged their husbands after long-distance separation with their own husband.
A CASE of husband-swapping among sisters — one of whom had become a migrant worker and another who stayed at home — was uncovered in central China’s Hunan Province recently when a mix-up on a residency permit application for a child led to a government demand for paternity testing, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
The case came to light after a sister named Liu Li was refused a hukou, or residency permit, for her daughter with her second husband, Wang Yang. The hukou is important because such benefits as education and social services are tied to residency.
Wang had divorced Liu’s younger sister, Liu Xiang, due to a long-term separation caused when Wang found work in the distant southern industrial center of Shenzhen. Wang then married Liu Li, who also was working in Shenzhen and who ended up divorcing her first husband, Feng Sheng, who had stayed back in Hunan Province.
As fate would have it, younger sister Liu Xiang got along well with her sister’s husband Feng Sheng, who lived in the same house in Hunan, while both of their partners worked in Shenzhen.
The two separated couples built new relationships. Younger sister Liu Xiang had a son with her new husband Feng Sheng. Older sister Liu Li and her second husband Wang Yang had a daughter.
All this seems to have been too much for the sisters’ mother, who mistakenly listed Liu Li as the mother of her grandson when she got a birth certificate for the boy. The boy’s mother is Liu Xiang and his father is Feng Sheng.
"We won’t reveal our family scandal if we don’t come across the hukou problem,” sister Liu Li wrote, according to the report. She was concerned about getting her daughter registered. Liu Li is the mother and Wang Yang is the girl’s father.
Last year, Liu Li started collecting files in her hometown and Shenzhen to pave way for the registration. However, because records incorrectly showed Liu Li already had a son, Shenzhen police asked for a paternity test including Liu Li and her husband, as well as the three members of her sister’s family.
While the case is an extreme, social scientists have pointed out the problem of long-distance relationships among migrant workers causing societal strains.
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