China Decides to Stops Giving Orphans the Last Names 'State' and 'Party'

China has issued a new rule that will make life easier for the tens of thousands of children that grow up in its orphanages. Up until now, it was common practice for orphanages to give their children surnames either based on the place that they were abandoned or to give them generic names like "Guo" or "Dang," which indicated the were of the "State" or "Party." These names made it easy for people to guess they were orphans—which could lead to a life of feeling marginalized. A child welfare worker told the state newspaper China Daily, "We don't want children who grow up in orphanages to carry labels that imply they are different from those who have parents." Now, the new naming practice will be to choose from a list of the 100 most common Chinese surnames. It's nice that at least future orphans won't have to worry about being stigmatized when they grow up—because on paper they'll be just like every other Zhào, Chén, and Yáng.

China to ban names that signal 'orphan' status [MSNBC]

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