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Chinese couples apply to have second child
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Chinese couples apply to have second child

Happenings

Almost a year after, China formally eased its one-child policy, thousands of couples have applied to give birth to a second child, Xinhua reports.

The new policy permits couples to have two kids as long as one of the parents is an only child. According to the old policy, both parents were required to be an only child.

Agency reporter unveils that the number of applications is “in line” with estimates of less than two million annually, as made by the country’s National Health and Family Planning commission.

A recent survey from the Beijing Health and Family Planning Commission showed that 30,305 couples in Beijing, around 6.7 of those eligible, applied to have a second child by the end of last year. A total of 28,778 were approved.

In Liuzhou city, 20 percent of eligible families applied by the end of last year and in rural Anhui, a mere 12 percent applied, according to China Youth Daily.

In Shanghai, only 15,000 couples have applied for a second child over the past five years, although around half of the couples in the city previously expressed the desire to have a second kid.

Zhong Dongbo, the Deputy Head of the Commission, said in Beijing that out of the 30,305 applicants, 28,778 had been approved.
He said the number was, however, lower than the 50,000 expected, adding that “many couples who wanted to have second child chose not to have them this year, but this does not mean that they won’t have them in future.
“Maybe they’re just not ready, maybe it is due to economic cost or time cost or they are contented with one child.”
Dongbo said Beijing was prepared for an increase of 50,000 births every year.
He said an extra 1,000 beds would be arranged in Beijing hospitals within three years.

It’s believed that many young couples in big cities shy away from the idea of having a second child due to the high costs. Jiang Yonping, a researcher from the Women’s Studies Institute of China who was cited in a CRI report, added that giving birth and raising children can have negative impacts on a woman’s career, leading some mothers in highly competitive cities to opt out.