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What is the context of the question?
By that, I mean what is the form you are attempting to answer?
In general, the answer is "neither parent". The race of the child would be "other" or "mixed", or a similar term.
Just check "other". Same with when he goes to school.
What you were taught in nursing school is for the situation in which the ethnicity of the father is not known. You know that your husband is Chinese. And yes, it's just a suggestion.
Birth certificates, etc., are for statistical purposes. In the United States the racial or ethnic heritage of a child is for the most part of no consequence, as far as "the law" is concerned. An exception would be for certain "affirmative action" programs. If your child should ever need to qualify for these, it is not necessary that his racial category be on his birth certificate. In any event, putting "other" on the birth certificate will be sufficient.