China Ditches One-Child Policy, Approves Three Kids per Family

Photo: (Photo : Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

The notorious one-child policy of China is no more as the country has officially adopted a new measure encouraging families to have three kids.

One of the world's most populated countries has announced the amendments to its Population and Family Planning Law after a decade-long deliberation headed by the ruling Communist Party. The decision to adopt this change was triggered by the dipping of China's active working population, which might impact the country's economy and global influence in the next generations.

In 2020, the average birth rate per mother in China was at 1.3, which was far below the rate of 2.1 that the country needs to sustain its current population in the years to come.

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Since 1980, China has been strictly enforcing its one-child policy to reduce its population growth. The move was, in fact, successful as it prevented an estimated 400 million births in four decades.

However, the one-child policy became controversial as fathers who violated the law were either fined or fired from their jobs. On the other hand, mothers were forced to undergo an abortion or operation to have their tubes tied. Preference was also given to sons instead of daughters, forcing some fathers to kill baby girls. The gender disparity in its population also grew wider.

Amendments in 2015 to Two Kids

China, however, started making amendments to its one-child policy in 2015, with the government telling families that they can have two children. At that time, it became evident that the country will not be able to sustain its wealth and power if the aging population is greater than the younger population as birth rates continued to drop each year.

Despite the government's leniency, the cost of having children, including childcare and other expenses, has deterred many couples from having more than one child. While China's total population is 1.4 billion, experts have predicted it will peak in this current decade because of its one-child policy.

What China Plans for Couples

Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that China would be introducing extra measures to support its new three-child policy, such as allowing more parental leaves and establishing more nursery and childcare centers near the workplace or public sites. 

The report also cited that China will be increasing its supportive measures for families in terms of taxation, insurance, housing, employment, financing, and education. This way, childbearing costs, and childcare burden will be eased off, encouraging parents to have more than one child. 

As for employed women bearing children, the law cited that it will protect the interest and rights of the women, whose jobs may be affected if they have more kids. The country's current female childbearing population is over 300 million.

However, a study from Brown University revealed that more working Chinese women believe it would not be possible to have babies while juggling a successful career. Many women also said that they face severe discrimination at work in terms of maternity benefits.

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