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April 17, 2013

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Migrant women give birth to 92% of kids out of family planning law

OVER 92 percent of babies born outside the family planning law in Shanghai last year were children of migrant people.

There were 226,000 children born of parents with local registered residency or migrants who had been in the city for over six months last year.

Shanghainese delivered 121,000 babies with some 960 outside the law, and migrants delivered 105,000 babies including over 12,700 in violation of the family planning law.

With registered residents complaining that the shortage of maternity beds is a result of the number of pregnant migrant women, the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission said yesterday it will kick off a campaign targeting violation of the family planning law. It's the first such campaign in recent years.

Identifying migrants who flout the family planning law is a major goal this year.

Shanghai has started a trial requiring real-name registration for hospital births. All seven hospitals with maternity service in Baoshan District are requiring pregnant women to show identity certificates when registering newborn children. Authorities expect the requirement to be implemented citywide after the trial period, the commission said.

In all other districts, people without registered residency or medical insurance are not required to give their real names when they give birth in a hospital.

The subdistrict government also will require neighborhood committees in residential complexes and villages to collect population information and set up a database record for each pregnant woman. The women will receive health education, maternity care and information about punishment if the child is in violation of the family planning law.

Making sure fines paid

The local population authority will also improve communication with migrant couples' hometowns to ensure they pay the fine if bearing children unlawfully. Migrant couples can pay the fine at either their current residence or their hometown, and the fine is calculated by local people's average incomes.

In Shanghai, couples are eligible for an second child under certain conditions, such as both spouses being from a one-child family or the first child having a non-hereditary disability. In rural areas of some provinces, couples can have a second child if their first is a girl.

Shanghai couples violating family planning laws face financial punishment up to three times each spouse's annual income or the local average income, whichever is higher.

Migrant people usually go back to their hometowns to pay the fine, which is much lower than in Shanghai.

If a parent in such cases works for the government, he or she also faces administrative penalties. The employer, residential complex and village of violators will lose to the right to be an honorable model employer, complex or village.


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