China’s one child policy

Late last year a good friend of our organization received a fine from the government for having a second child. I thought this might be a good catalyst for sharing a bit on the topic. *I’m not an expert on all of this – if you know something to be a bit different, please let me know in the comments!*

The rule is: every couple may only have ONE child. There are however several exceptions…:

i. If you are registered as one of China’s 56 minority groups then you can have a second child.

ii. If you are an only child and your spouse is an only child then you may have two children.

iii. If you have twins (or triplets, etc) then there is no fine.

The purpose of the one-child policy is to control the population. China’s cities are all overflowing and growing rapidly. A large portion of China’s land is not usable (mountains and desert).

If you have an illegal second child and the police find out (or you try to register them) then you will receive a fine that is supposedly based on your income.

This friend we know had a second child and had been given a fine of ¥160,000 – about US$24,000. Later they reduced this amount by half. To put this in perspective, a fresh graduate might make about ¥14,000 per year.

I fully support *education* regarding the effects of over population and the challenges that having many children can have for a low income family. However I firmly believe that children are a gift from the Lord. And that the decision and planning should be decided by the husband and wife, not the government.

I hope this helps to provide some understanding of how things work inside of China. 🙂

One thought on “China’s one child policy

  1. I’ve actually studied some of the effects of this. China is actually facing some significant problems as a result of this policy:
    1) They have pretty effectively just about halved their population since initiating this policy. You might think this is a good idea until you start to think about the implications as the population ages. That means that for every 2 people who age and retire, you only have 1 person working and supporting them. In the US we have the “Baby Boomer” population aging right now and we see the effects of an aging population on things like Medicare and Social Security. Think about the effects with an even greater aging effect and a society that has even more socialist tendencies than the US…
    2) There is a strong preference in Asia for boys…because they are seen to be a support to their parents in their old age. Even though it is technically illegal for a couple in China to get an Ultrasound to determine the sex of a child, it still happens. Often this leads to gender selective abortions. Even if the gender is not confirmed before birth, birth of a girl child may lead to neglect in some cases, sale of the child so that the couple can have another child (preferably a boy). Several studies have shown that there is a strong selection factor in favor of the number of first children who are boys, but when you start looking and 2nd, 3rd or even 4th children, the ratios of boy to girl children shoot up into the 10-20 times more range.
    3)Scarcity of females in the younger populations can cause lots and lots and lots of problems when men get old enough to want wives. Women often become a commodity that is bought and sold because they are so rare. This counter-intuitively tends to lessen their value and drive things like the human trafficking trade rampant in South-East Asia (and often funneled into China).

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