Chinese couples face wait for ‘second-child’ policy

Beijng: Couples who want a second child after the announcement that China’s “one-child policy” is ending, will have to wait until the appropriate laws are amended, the media reported on Saturday.

The launch of the new policy needs to be in accordance with regional population and family planning laws, and the birth of a second child before such regulations are passed into law will be deemed illegal, the China Daily reported.

Jiang Weiping, director of the China Population and Development Research Centre, said the necessary measures will be determined by people’s congresses or their standing committees in provinces, regions and municipalities.

“The timeline for the operation of the new ‘two-child policy’ in different regions will determine when the second newborn baby will be able to have a legal identity,” Jiang said.

Last year, several regions in China took the lead in introducing a second-child policy.

However, parents in 17 provinces and autonomous regions who had a second child before the new local regulations faced financial penalties.

“Number of new births will definitely increase in the coming years and we estimate that the peak will be over 20 million newborn babies,” said Wang Pei’an, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

At present, about 60 percent of China’s child-bearing women are over 35 years old, which means an increase of ‘elderly’ mothers will be witnessed in China in the next few years, Wang said in a news release on Friday.

Following a four-day meeting of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in Beijing this week, the central government on Thursday announced that China will allow two children for every couple.

For the present, only certain couples are eligible to have two children, such as those in which both partners are only children.