This article examines the mode of understanding and experiences of family relationships of Chinese migrant women in Britain. In contrast to much existing research work on the patterns and experiences of postwar settlement of unskilled Chinese male labourers in Britain, the focus here is on the life stories of 41 Chinese women with different migration trajectories and varying economic and cultural capital. Their oral testimonies reveal Chinese women's diverse expectations and experiences of migrant family relationships and their different strategies to achieve self-fulfillment both within and outside the confines of the migrant family. For some women, migration brings opportunities for a fulfilling and independent lifestyle. They are successful in negotiating their way around and sometimes out of their initial familial and social position. For others, they bear the disproportionate cost and labour of familial strategies of advancement and remain vulnerable to the most constraining aspects of diasporic existence. Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.