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June 14, 2014

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6,000 applications under 2nd child rule

MORE than 6,000 local couples applied to have a second child in the three months after the city adopted a more flexible family planning policy on March 1.

A total of 6,175 couples with one spouse from a one-child family applied up to the end of May, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday.

They represented almost 63 percent of all applications to have a second child over that period, said officials.

Under the new rules, around 400,000 couples in Shanghai became eligible to have a second child.

In a survey, 70 percent of couples said they would like to have a second child. However, it is believed that the uptake will be less, with factors such as financial implications swaying decisions.

Last November, the central government permitted couples with one spouse from a one-child family to have a second child. City and provincial government can decide when to adopt the policy.

Previously, criteria to be eligible for a second child included if both partners were from one-child families or if their first child has a non-inherited disability.

In some rural regions a couple can have a second child if the first is a girl.

In Shanghai, the Pudong New Area and Minhang and Xuhui districts saw the highest number of application — in line with the overall populations there.

Among couples applying, in almost 66 percent of cases both were native Shanghainese.

To qualify for the policy, at least one spouse must be a registered resident in Shanghai.

The average age for women applying was just under 33 years old — with ages ranging from just over 22 to just over 48 years old. More than 81 percent of the women were in their 30s.

The average age for the men was just over 35 — with ages ranging from just over 23 to around 66 years old. More than 80 percent were between 30 and 39 years old.

Couples whose first child was a girl were more likely to apply to have a second child, the statistics showed.


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