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Second child rule confusing

Updated: 2014-02-27 08:08
( China Daily)

A woman surnamed Yang, eager to have a second child, had a heated argument with her 35-year-old stepmother in a street recently because the latter was planning to have her first child, which would prevent Yang from fulfilling her wish given the new policy on having a second child. The increase in the number of incidents related to having a second child deserves the attention of policy and decision makers, says an article in Yangtze Evening Post. Excerpts:

In an ideal situation Yang and her stepmother both should have been able to have a child-Yang her second and her stepmother her first-without violating the family planning policy and with organizations providing family planning services giving priority to the would-be mothers' safety.

But reality is otherwise; it is full of complicated problems. For example, it is not easy to determine whether a boy/girl will be considered an only child if his/her parents divorce and his/her father or mother, or both, remarry and have another child. Besides, local authorities need clarification even to determine whether a couple whose only child died young could be eligible to have a second child.

Many new family planning rules remain unclear. Since women who get pregnant at an advanced age face more risks, it is important to provide them with sound prenatal and postnatal care, and extend the free livelihood project to families planning to have a second child to help prevent birth defects.

The second-child policy, being implemented in many provinces and cities, is likely to encounter problems created by special circumstances. So family planning departments at all levels should come up with detailed and practical regulations sooner rather than later to provide convenient service and care to would-be mothers and prevent confusion.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

(China Daily 02/27/2014 page9)