Does The Chinese Government Regulate The Birth Rate Of Girls?

September 29, 2010
Written by Cindy Ferraino in
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Pingyao China
Pingyao China

Dear Sticky Wicket,

Does The Chinese Government Regulate The Birth Rate Of Girls? Is it true the Chinese government does not embrace the birth of girls?

Is that why more girls are orphans and eligible for adoption? For many cultures, the birth of a male child is a celebrated event. This baby would soon be able to provide for his family and hopefully carry on his namesake on to the next generation with the birth of another boy. Even though the birth of a male child is resonated throughout a family unit, what by chance happens when the stork drops a beautiful baby girl on the doorstep?

In some countries, the birth of a baby girl is as wholesome as a slice of apple pie, but unfortunately, one country is believed to have a disdain towards a certain sexed bundle of joy.

Dating back to when Confucius roamed the hills and valleys in China, there was an appreciation for families who were able to bring forth a male child into the world, especially the first-born. Males, considered the lifeline for the next generation to come, and seen as the “chosen” children, were revered as the leader in their family in both social and educational values.

The family was seen as great and fortunate for having a male child. However, if such great fortune did not descend upon the family, and the first-born was a girl, it was like a curse on the family. The girls, treated like slaves, were in some instances, sent away or killed.

Fast forward a few centuries, and the world may still uphold the value of a male child for their ability to keep the bloodline going and most definitely, it remains a strong sentiment in China.

However, in the late 1970s, the Chinese government actually created the “One-child policy,” which was deemed as necessary to control the increasing population in China, this policy allows a couple produce only one child.

According to Fast Facts and Details, propaganda crept up throughout the streets in China to support the policy. Some posters read: “Having fewer, Better Children to Create Prosperity,” and “Stabilize Family Planning and Create a Brighter Future.”  The policy garnished some opposition, but there was a caveat to the plan that drew even more concern. The policy enabled a couple to have a second child, if the first child was a girl. If the second child was a girl, then no more children are to be born.

Instead of utilizing this policy to control population, many argue that the Chinese government is trying to suppress the birth rate of girls.

According to reports from Amnesty International, and the U.S. State Department, the government is dictating how Chinese women can perform one of their basic human rights, to procreate, especially when it comes to giving birth to a boy first.

altBecause of the strict “One-child policy,” many Chinese women are forced to make tough decisions that include gender-selective abortions, adoption, never reporting the birth of the child, or even abandoning their baby.

Luckily, for many women, the decision to put the baby up for adoption has been the best solution because people from other countries have traveled to China to adopt babies, especially the girls. It has been reported that women are also forced to put the baby up for adoption or the baby is kidnapped from the mother’s arms.

According to a 2008 report in the People’s Daily, the Chinese government contends it will continue the one-child policy until 2018, and says that in some affluent areas, there are families who are having two or three children. Some of these families include two or more girls. “The current family planning policy, a result of gradual changes in the past two decades, has proved compatible with national conditions. So it has to be kept unchanged at this time to ensure stable, and balanced population growth. Given such a large population base, there might be major fluctuations in population growth if we abandoned the one-child policy now, it would cause some serious problems and add extra pressure in social and economic development,” said Zhang Weiqing in a 2008 statement for the National Population and Planning Commission.


Sources:  - “China’s one-child policy: As brutal and hypocritical as ever”

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