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September 4, 2012

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Home » Metro » Education

One-child rules may be relaxed

China's strict one-child policy could be eased in Shanghai for divorcees who want to start a new family but already have a child from a previous marriage.

Currently, when couples are in that situation and neither has custody of children from a previous marriage, they can have another child under one of three conditions - both are from a one-child family; one is a farmer and one is from a one-child family; or one spouse's child has a non-inherited disease.

With Shanghai's divorce rate at 38 percent, many more people are expressing a desire to start a new family.

They want to have a child in their new relationship but are unable to do so because of the strict conditions, Zhuo Ya, a member of the Shanghai People's Congress, said.

"For couples whose children are under the custody of the divorced spouse and who have no child in the new marriage, the desire to have a child is much stronger," Zhuo said. "The government should ease the strict restriction on such couples, allowing them to have their own child in the new marriage."

Officials from Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission said it was investigating the issue with a view to refining the local population policy.

However, it said that if the lack of custody became a precondition for a person to have a child in the new marriage, it could result in neither spouse wanting to raise the child.

"Shanghai is at an important juncture for population development and perfecting the current population policy is essential for the city's future and long-term development," a commission official said. "The commission has started an investigation on amending the city's population rule and Zhuo Ya's suggestion will be taken into serious consideration."


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