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China's One-Child Policy Lifted For Quake Victims

China's One-Child Policy Lifted For Quake Victims

Chinese officials have announced that families, whose only child was killed or critically injured in this month's earthquake, will be exempt from the one-child policy, a decision that appears to be only fair.

The reprieve, which at first seems compassionate, highlights the unnatural quality of China's entire family-planning policy. A couple, dealing with the loss of their legal child, will have to apply for permission to have a "legal replacement." If the family already has an illegal second child, the parents will no longer be responsible for outstanding (and hefty) fines; but, fines already paid will not be reimbursed.

Recently China has been considering a modification to its three-decade-old one-child policy, which has prevented as many as 400 million births. As of now, however, reproduction is almost always limited to one child, unless a family is prepared to pay the price in fines.

Will permission to create a "replacement" life bring hope to these grieving parents? Does the government have any right to interfere with a citizen's reproductive rights, even if the society doesn't have the means to support overpopulation?


Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
i think them being able to have another child is only fair. i think they should have something like that in America. based on your income your only allowed a certain amount of children.
CollegeGirl CollegeGirl 9 years
One child can never replace another, but I think a loosening of the policy in this instance is the right thing to do.
Geisha-Runner Geisha-Runner 9 years
I do think it is a good idea that China is allowing "legal replacements." It's all because of the same reason that baby girls are left or aborted ... it's the Chinese culture. When parents get too old to care for themselves, they don't go to a nursing home ... they go to live with their son. Well, if you're only allowed on child, you're going to want it to be a son so you are taken care of in your old age. It may not be a good idea on how to fix the over population in China. But do you really think that the Chinese government is going to listen to an American (or anyone else for that matter) about how to run their country?
serial serial 9 years
kamiko, my understanding is that the Chinese government is planning on improving infrastructure. I think the emphasis is still on rescue and recovery, but then they're planning on bringing in geologists and engineers to determine whether it is safe to rebuild there or at another location. The plan, as I read it, would be to rebuild bigger and better (not hard, since a lot of the collapsed buildings date back to the early 1900s) within 3 years.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 9 years
Hmmm if anything happened to my little angel, i don't know if I'd want to birth another child -- obviously it can not be a 'replacement'. I'm sure thats not what the people who are praying for their children are thinking of now, the government should really honor their deaths by looking into improving infrastructure to prevent such a huge travesty next time.
serial serial 9 years
I can't believe some of the above comments claiming war is an excellent regulator of population. Even during the blood bath that was WWII, "only" about 40 to 72 million people, depending on estimates died. This net loss doesn't even consider the "baby boom" that invariably follows a war, especially in winning countries. The above blog cites China's policy as preventing 400 million births. Today's wars have tried to minimize death tolls as well, with all our precision weapons delivered from jets, boats, or missile silos. Unless you're talking about a war that resorts to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons - morbid as it sounds - you're not going to get those kind of kill numbers. China's one-child policy may be flawed, including the leaving of infant girls with orphanages, but also the abortion of girls in preference of boys, and even killing of infant girls after birth. And China will pay for it in the long run when the disproportionate population of men can't find wives (creating at least two generations of bachelor societies). But to suggest a war to end lives would be more efficient or better than preventing lives in the first place seems incredible! Maybe instead of the carefully regulated system China has going now, they can revert back to their failed Great Leap Forward or hey, maybe a rural villager somewhere can instigate a new Taiping Rebellion. Of course, I jest.
janneth janneth 9 years
China could not survive as a country if they abandoned the one child policy. But they could decrease the population even more: if they catch a woman aborting a female fetus, they should tie her tubes.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Communism is so warm, isn't it?
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
How sad. I can't imagine being limited to one child. How strange that they call it a "legal replacement" too.
Calimie Calimie 9 years
Overpopulation is an big problem, not only in China but the one-child policy is not the solution: mostly, it leads to baby girls left in orphanages (if lucky). What UnDave35 said above is unfortunately true: wars are excellent as regulators of population.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
They have been doing a lot of stories on NPR on China. One said that they spent $360 per square foot on government buildings, and only $60 per foot on the schools.
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
It would be hard to think of a child as a replacement for one that has been lost. Although I do think it is good of the Chinese Goverment to do this.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Sounds like they need another war to reduce the population. That's what we've always used in the past.
graysky graysky 9 years
overpopulation always been a issue for China. There are already too many restriction in china regarding population control. I doubt they will change this policy regardless of the their moral judgments.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Only one child?!?! Holy Cr@p! I was planning a big family too. I guess I won't become Chinese
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