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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

China’s Sichuan Province Allows Unmarried People to Have Children Legally

Sichuan has more than 21% of its population or the seventh-highest percentage over the age of 60

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CHINA: As part of a national initiative to raise the birth rate in the nation, a province of more than 80 million people in China will relax limits on unmarried individuals having children and remove birth limitation thresholds.

Sichuan’s health commission announced on Monday that everyone would be able to register births with the province’s government beginning February 15th. Also, there will no longer be limits on how many births each parent can register.

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Even though national laws on reproduction don’t specifically say that single women can’t have kids, parents often have to show proof of marriage to get free services like prenatal care, a mother’s wage while she’s on maternity leave, and job protection.

People who want to register for a birth outside of marriage often have to pay large fines to get the child’s hukou or household registration. This gives the child access to social services and education in China.

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The Chinese government has been enacting an increasing number of policies and laws to encourage more people to have kids. For the first time in sixty years, the population of the nation declined in 2022. Most of the government’s worries are related to how an ageing population may affect the economy as fewer people of working age are supported by the government’s social programs.

According to government statistics, Sichuan has more than 21% of its population or the seventh-highest percentage over the age of 60. The province is one of many that has attempted a variety of birth-increasing incentives. In July 2021, it started giving parents of second or third children monthly allowances until the kids were three.

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Chinese society has a significant gender imbalance as a result of the preference for having male offspring after decades of a harsh one-child policy that included financial fines and forced abortions and was only abandoned in 2016.

Because of the high cost of living, limited social mobility, rising work constraints, and social expectations of women, young people are increasingly rejecting marriage and having children.

Yi Fuxian, an expert on China’s population changes and a researcher in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says that the marriage requirement was related to earlier birth restrictions that made sure one man and one woman could only have one child or later, two or three children.

Also Read: China’s Population Declines for the First Time in 60 Years, with a Record-low National Birth Rate

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