Nguyen Do, a 57-year-old man of central Quang Binh Province and the father of 14 children, said he wanted many children so he would not need to hire extra labour when he owned a fishing boat.
Nguyen Do (L) and his fifth son prepare to go fishing.
But his first child was born 36 years ago and owning his own fishing boat is still a dream. He and his wife have been struggling to feed their family which is now larger since three of their sons married and had their own babies.
They all live in a 30 square-metre house in Quang Loc Commune, Quang Trach District. To manage such a big family, Do decided every one in his family had to eat and sleep at fixed places. They usually divide into two groups at meals, as they have only about ten bowls.
Do said he named his children after local villages and communes so he could remember their names easily. But he admitted he usually mistook one child for another, Family and Society newspaper reported.
Since Do delayed making birth certificates for his children, local justice officers faced challenges when the father applied for birth certificates for ten of his children and grandchildren. He had forgotten their dates of birth.
Once he reported a child was born in October but the next child was born in July of the following year. “It’s not reasonable." a local officer complained.
Do’s wife, Nguyen Thi Huong, said she gave birth to three children within four years. Things were so tough they had to borrow money and rice to raise the kids.
Parents have a right to decide their family’s size. But Government family planning policies are still necessary for families like Do’s so children can be given good care. With a smaller family, a father at least remembers the names of his kids.