For decades, when it comes to family planning, China has been notorious for its’ “one-child” policy, with its slight exceptions. For Americans, this policy has been hard to comprehend, being that America does the opposite in that it encourages large and communal families. It has always been something that seemed very foreign to me, but I assumed that China has gotten used to or accepted it as the norm. However, China has recently made its first change to the “one-child” policy in almost 30 years. The reason is because for the roughly 30 years the policy has been in place, the disparity in population towards the elderly has seen massive shifts. The elderly need young people to support them, hence the change. The change will not be a drastic one. China’s current policy limits urban families to one-child, and allows rural families to have a second child if their first one is a girl. Additionally, the policy allows two children to parents who are both only-children. What the new policy does is allow two children to parents where only one of them was an only-child.
While it seems slight, this change should dramatically change the numbers. The original “one-child” policy was put in place to battle poverty and make it easier on parents, but they didn’t consider seriously enough how that would affect the foundation of support for the elderly. While the change will certainly have an immediate effect, some families still feel that it is too much money to have more than one child. It is probably something that parents just stopped budgeting for, and will need to be rolled out slowly for the public to gain comfort with. Are there any drawbacks to this tweaking of the policy? How much further should it go? To the point where we are in America with complete freedom to have as many children as we please?