Desperately Seeking Company: Male, Age 85, Up for Adoption

(Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

At the Washington Post, Emily Rauhala reports on a man left behind in a Chinese demographic that got old before it got rich. Knowing that his independence would eventually evaporate, Han Zeching, an 85-year-old desperate for human contact, put himself up for adoption by taping a note to a bus shelter in his neighborhood.

On a chilly day in December, the 85-year-old Chinese grandfather gathered some scraps of white paper and wrote out a pitch in blue ink: “Looking for someone to adopt me.”

“Lonely old man in his 80s. Strong-bodied. Can shop, cook and take care of himself. No chronic illness. I retired from a scientific research institute in Tianjin, with a monthly pension of 6,000 RMB [$950] a month,” he wrote.

“I won’t go to a nursing home. My hope is that a kindhearted person or family will adopt me, nourish me through old age and bury my body when I’m dead.”

He taped a copy to a bus shelter in his busy neighborhood.

Then he went home to wait.

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