Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 20: Hope For Tomorrow’s Children: China Changes Its One-Child Policy

one child policy-001
After 35 years, China has done away with its One-Child Policy, the new rules now permit married couples to have two children.

He Caitou, a well-known Chinese blogger’s reaction was eloquent and encompassing. “A sigh of relief. In my lifetime, I don’t have to witness the disappearance of words like ‘brother,’ ‘sister,’ ‘aunt’ and ‘uncle’ from the Chinese language,” he said.

The one-child policy has had a devastating effect on the country, woman bearing the bulk of the brutality.  They’ve endured sanctions, sterilizations, forced abortions and have been forced to give up their children, with female babies being disproportionately affected.  

A far lesser known impact of the one-child policy has been that disabled children – of both genders – have been abandoned at alarming rates. The numbers of disabled children abandoned skyrocketed to such magnitude that baby hatches were opened across the country to allow children to be more safely deposited at orphanages.

The reasons a family might feel compelled to relinquish a disabled child are certainly complex and multi-faceted, but given that the one-child policy limited parents to a sole progeny and heir, it was surely a consideration – if not the overwhelming one -  in their decision.

Is the change in the one-child policy a face-saving measure? Yes. Has China abolished its stated mandated family planning? No.

But is this a victory for tomorrow’s children? Absolutely. Hopefully, it’s only the start.

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