onsdag 1. februar 2023

Chinese province ends ban on unmarried people having children

A Chinese province of more than 80 million people will lift restrictions on unmarried people having children and remove caps on the number of babies as part of a national drive to increase the country’s birth rate. Sichuan’s health commission announced on Monday it would allow all people to register births with the provincial government from 15 February. It will also remove limits on the number of birth registrations for any parent.

Until now, the commission had allowed only married couples who wanted to have up to two children to register with local authorities. In a government notice, Sichuan authorities said the measures “shift the focus of childbearing registration to childbearing desire and childbearing results”. The measures will be in place for five years. National reproduction policies do not explicitly ban unmarried women from having children but proof of marriage is often required for parents to access free services including prenatal healthcare, a mother’s salary during maternity leave, and job protection.

Those who seek to register a birth outside of marriage often face heavy fines in order to get the child a hukou – China’s crucial household registration that gives the child access to education and social services.