Wednesday, March 26, 2008

One Child Policy to Continue

There has been speculation recently about whether China's family planning policy (commonly known as the One Child Policy) would change or continue. Earlier this month, China's Family Planning Minister announced that the policy would continue for at least another ten years.

While the policy is commonly deemed successful in curbing population growth, there have been massive social, economic, environmental, ethical and other implications and consequences as a result of this policy, directly and indirectly, including

  • child abandonment, especially girls
  • female gendercide
  • child trafficking
  • wife trafficking
  • forced abortions / forced sterilisation
  • gender imbalance
  • 4/2/1 dependency ratio
  • declining birth rate, hence declining population replacement rate
  • aging population
  • little emperor syndrome
  • hugely disproportionate number of marriageable age males without female counterparts
    (this list is just a quick brain-dump and is by no means exhaustive)

The One Child Policy is not a blanket policy imposed on all families. In fact, the current birth rate in China sits at around 1.8 children per family (not down to 1 per family but certainly a shift from the average of 7.5 children per family in 1963). Here is some information about the policy:
  • families are allowed to have two children if the first born is a girl or is disabled (resulting in second and third born females being abandoned)
  • rural families are permitted to have two children
  • if the mother and father are only children themselves, they are allowed two children
  • the policy is enforced in different ways in different provinces
  • ethnic minorities (the 55 different Chinese ethnic groups, ie. non-Han Chinese) may have two and sometimes three children
  • breaching the policy can result in fines, withdrawal of family allowance, demotion or discharge from jobs, social rejection

I wonder what the Chinese would think of the policies of my nation's Government; we are paid to have children and encouraged to have larger families in an attempt to increase the fertility rate.

Similar/related earlier posts: The right to live, Family planning slogans, Population stuff.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Update on Aussie adoption petition

A quick update on my post earlier this month about the adoption petition for the Australian Federal Government. There is a new link to the online petition -

There are eleven initial changes that the petition targets. Most interesting is the need to provide potential for NGOs to facilitate adoption services, rather than the current requirement of working with government departments only. Also a push for Australia to open up new country programs and to reduce waiting lists.

Please join with me in signing the petition - and please share the link with your networks. The link also provides a draft letter that can be sent to your local MP (for those in Australia).

It's everywhere

Is adoption increasingly prevalent, or is it just that I'm more aware of it..? Last week I returned from a work trip to the US and there were three (count 'em, THREE) movies on the plane featuring adoption. This was right after I watched December Boys the previous weekend which makes strong reference to adopting.

I managed to catch Juno (loved it) and August Rush (liked it), but didn't watch Martian Child cos the write up was average.

Pics from the trip:

Seattle Sky Needle

At an NBA game baby!

Doing my thing

(more photos here)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Initiating change

**ETA: Not sure why the petition link is down... hopefully it will be back up again soon! Hopefully it's collapsed from too much traffic!

Australians wishing to adopt from overseas have limited options due to the small number of inter-country agreements. An online petition has been developed to present to the Federal Government to accelerate the opening of new programs as a matter of priority.

Please join with us and sign the petition .