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The next year there was a push for families to limit themselves to one child, but that was not evenly enforced across the country.

Why We Wrote This

In an effort to have the policy applied consistently throughout China, the government issued a letter on September 25, , that called for adherence to the one-child policy. Although some enforcement methods were mild, such as providing contraceptives and offering incentives for compliance, millions of Chinese had to endure stricter methods, such as forced sterilizations and forced abortions.

Long-term unintended consequences of the policy included a decline in the number of females in China in there were After coming to the realization that the policy had harmful unintended consequences, such as a persistent gender imbalance because of the traditional preference of having sons , a shrinking workforce, and an aging society, in late the Chinese government announced that the one-child limit was being discontinued. Beginning in , all families would be allowed to have two children.

One Child Nation

In China the fertility rate and the birth rate both decreased after ; the Chinese government estimated that some million births had been prevented. Because sons were generally favoured over daughters, the sex ratio in China became skewed toward men, and there was a rise in the number of abortions of female fetuses along with an increase in the number of female babies killed or placed in orphanages.


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A voluntary program was announced in late that encouraged families to have no more than two children, one child being preferable. In demand grew for making the limit one child per family. However, that stricter requirement was then applied unevenly across the country among the provinces, and by the central government sought to standardize the one-child policy nationwide.

The program was intended to be applied universally, although exceptions were made—e. It was implemented more effectively in urban environments , where much of the population consisted of small nuclear families who were more willing to comply with the policy, than in rural areas, with their traditional agrarian extended families that resisted the one-child restriction.

In addition, enforcement of the policy was somewhat uneven over time, generally being strongest in cities and more lenient in the countryside. Methods of enforcement included making various contraceptive methods widely available, offering financial incentives and preferential employment opportunities for those who complied, imposing sanctions economic or otherwise against those who violated the policy, and, at times notably the early s , invoking stronger measures such as forced abortions and sterilizations the latter primarily of women. The one-child policy produced consequences beyond the goal of reducing population growth.

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Traditionally, male children especially firstborn have been preferred—particularly in rural areas—as sons inherit the family name and property and are responsible for the care of elderly parents. When most families were restricted to one child, having a girl became highly undesirable, resulting in a rise in abortions of female fetuses made possible after ultrasound sex determination became available , increases in the number of female children who were placed in orphanages or were abandoned, and even infanticide of baby girls.

An offshoot of the preference for male children was that tens of thousands of Chinese girls were adopted by families in the United States and other countries. Over time, the gap widened between the number of males and females and, as those children came of age, it led to a situation in which there were fewer females available for marriage. Another consequence of the policy was a growing proportion of elderly people, the result of the concurrent drop in children born and rise in longevity since That became a concern, as the great majority of senior citizens in China relied on their children for support after they retired, and there were fewer children to support them.

A third consequence was instances in which the births of subsequent children after the first went unreported or were hidden from authorities.

Those children, most of whom were undocumented, faced hardships in obtaining education and employment. Although the number of such children is not known, estimates have ranged from the hundreds of thousands to several million. Sporadic efforts were made to modify the one-child policy.

Only child - Wikipedia

In addition to earlier exceptions such as for minority peoples or for those whose firstborn was handicapped, those measures included allowing rural families in some areas to have two or even three children and permitting parents whose firstborn was a girl or who both were only children to have a second child. The one-child policy was enforced for most Chinese into the 21st century, but in late Chinese officials announced that the program was ending.

Problems and reforms

Beginning in early , all families would be allowed to have two children. He currently lives in California where he works in a special education program for Hispanic migrant children. Anton sends this message My life changed in those months as much as Sheila's. I'm quite certain my life would never be what it is today if I had not taken that form over to that school that day and met Torey and the class.

I want to take this chance to tell everyone that if you've got dreams, do the work to make them come true. It's worth it. But just as important, I want to say to the people who haven't got dreams, keep yourself open. I didn't have dreams when I walked into Torey's classroom.

What happened that year just happened.

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I wouldn't have ever believed on that day I would be sitting here writing this to you now. Keep yourself open to dreams. You never know where you will find them. Whitney is now in her early forties. She holds a doctorate in child psychology and has worked for many years as a private clinician. Whitney sends this message That was a special year. It was the combination I think of Torey and 'Anton' and me all being interested in the same thing and getting to spend that year with a group of really special children.

We all came away from it changed people and although we have gone our separate ways in life, we have all remained connected through our experiences that year. My best wishes on this web site. I hope everyone who visits it enjoys it and comes away with a new appreciation for how meaningful life with these children can be. Of the other children in the class, all are in their thirties.

Freddie and Susannah Joy are unable to live independently or maintain jobs.

cribvapisiver.ml Consequently both now live in institutional settings. Sarah and William eventually made the transition to regular education and graduated from high school.


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Sarah is now married, mother of three children and working as a waitress.