For those who need a parent, but don’t want their own, there is a service that will allow one to rent stand-ins.
China, already known for rented girlfriends and boyfriends, is now offering people an opportunity to rent fake parents to avoid potentially awkward situations.
The service costs around $7.50 an hour and is seeming to grow in popularity both on and offline. Advertisements for the rented parents are posted in Chinese newspapers and on the internet, calling out specific events where their services might be needed.
“Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend who wants to meet your parents but you actually don’t want them to meet?” asked one advert on the Chinese Internet.
But those acting as a stand-in parents aren’t the only ones advertising. Consumers are equally as vocal about needing a fake mom or dad.
“A rented parent is needed,” one person commented. “Just need to make a phone call to my teacher.”
Another asked: “Is there anyone in Shanghai who can be rented as parents to have a meal with my girlfriend?”
Those who provide this kind of acting aren’t just in it for the money but want to actually help.
The Global Times newspaper spoke to a rent-a-parent who takes his “profession” very seriously.
“I study psychology,” the fake dad told the newspaper. “No matter how nasty your teacher gets, I won’t get angry.”
Rentable parents may be the new trend, but China has been renting out other intimate relationships for a few years now.
The country, which still has arranged marriages, has seen an increase in rented boyfriends and girlfriends – especially around the holidays. There has also been a growing trend of people renting themselves out as friends on “rent me” apps.