Beijing: New family planning rule allows remarried couples to have more children

If remarried people have two children or more before marriage and have had no child since remarrying, they can also give birth to a child together.

Beijing | Published:March 25, 2016 1:14 pm

In a bid to increase Beijing’s population, the Chinese capital city has passed a new family planning rule allowing remarried couples to have more children besides granting 128 maternity leaves for mothers and 15-day holiday for fathers.

As per a new regulation passed by the local legislature, remarried couples who had one child before remarriage and then gave birth to a child after getting remarried are allowed to have a second child together.

Moreover, if remarried people have two children or more before marriage and have had no child since remarrying, they can also give birth to a child together, official media reported.

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Previously, the one-child policy Beijing only allowed remarried couples with one child from both previous and current marriages to give birth to another child.

Since the beginning of this year China scrapped three-decade-old one-child policy and allowed couples to have second child to avert demographic crisis following sharp increase in people above 60 years.

“The policy should be supported, as it will benefit a lot of remarried couples in Beijing to have another child.

However, it will not be promoted across the country, as different cities have different situations,” Huang Wenzheng, a demographics expert and former assistant professor at Harvard University, was quoted as saying by the Global Times.

Unlike Beijing, the local government in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu Province stipulated four scenarios in which remarried couples will be allowed to have another child, including when the partner that is an only child has no offspring and his or her spouse already has two children.

Han Zhiyun, a 31-year-old woman who married a Beijing man who had previously fathered twins, said that, “I still feel that the policy discriminates against people like me, who married for the first time with someone who was married previously.”

“Why can I not have two children with my husband like other couples?” she asked.

Han gave birth to a daughter in 2013, and under the previous family planning regulation, she could not get a Beijing household registration for her baby.

The new regulation also provides a 15-day paternity leave for husbands during their wives’ pregnancy and extends female workers’ maternity leave to 7 months.

Current national regulations allow women only 98 days of maternity leave.

Some additional rules like stipulating that women are only allowed to give birth to a second child if they are aged 28 or older or if it has been at least four years since the birth of their first child have been scrapped.

The new rule also mentions that couples in the capital will enjoy longer maternity and paternity leave.

According to the city’s new population and family planning regulation, mothers in Beijing are entitled to at least 128 days of maternity leave after having their first or second child, 30 days longer than the previous allowance.

Maternity leave may be extended to a maximum up to seven months, if the organisation they work for allows it.