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Children of China

People killed, families torn apart, and lives ruined, all in an attempt to slightly lower population numbers. In China, there are currently thousands of children that have either been killed, aborted, abandoned, or are up for adoption because of a law that was set in place over 30 years ago, limiting the number of children that a family may raise. Even though the reins on the law have weakened, and the stipulations have become less likely to be brutally enforced, the ruling still exists, and is still causing pain to families across the country. This brutal one child limitation law has caused some irreparable damage, and in my opinion must be discontinued before it costs any more lives.

In the 1970’s, the government examined the increasing population numbers, and noted that the country, and the world for that matter, was far over-capacity. As a solution to this problem, they decided to create a temporary law that limited the amount of children a family was allowed to produce. In the beginning, this seemed like a foolproof plan that would last for about 20 years, enough time to get the overflowing population back in check. But even though the number of people born in the country has lowered, the original lawmakers did not seem to take into account the number of immigrants. As a result the population has only slightly decreased, and the law is still in effect, many years after it was expected to be terminated.

Accidents happen and mistakes are made, this is part of the overall learning process of life, but what happens when these mistakes no longer affect only yourself. For the last 30 years the one child policy has been part of China’s government, boasting its prevention of over 400 million births. This shrinking number is not a result of the compliance of citizens, but of the dread instilled in families, prompting them not to have more than a single child for fear of the consequences. Multiple children can result in a variety of problems such as fines that equal ten times the family’s yearly salary or risks of losing crucial benefits such as retirement. Although it is uncommon, stories have also surfaced about parents being tricked, beaten, and bribed into giving up their child if they disobey the law by having more than one. In the event that the “shadow children” survive they are shuffled between family members or are put in orphanages where infants are strapped to boards and parents in hope of getting a child must go through multiple stages of fraud and bribery to acquire him or her.
Another increasing problem resulting in the limitation is the fact that since ancient times, boys and men have been the basis of Asian culture, and even with modernized points-of-view from many, some have refused to let go of the old sentiments. Because of this, boy children are still preferred by families in China, as they will be the ones who carry on the family name. But the one child ruling has made it difficult for many families who want a boy because there will always be a fifty percent chance that they will produce a girl, which could seem like a tragedy. As a result, the female children in some families are despised for having unintentionally stolen the place of what should have been a male heir. Statistics show that 15 percent more women from the ages of 15-34 have committed suicide since the one child law was set in place. If this law has only caused chaos, then why is it still around? Although there has been a significant amount of damage, the laws original purpose has still been achieved: lowering the population. But has the harm that it has caused along the way been worth it, and should it be allowed to continue any longer?
Bibliography
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Hays, Jeffrey. "One-Child Policy in China." One-Child Policy in China. Facts and Details, Feb. 2011. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=128&catid=4&subcatid=15>.

Ling, Chai. "Forced Abortion | All Girls Allowed." Home | All Girls Allowed. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <http://www.allgirlsallowed.org/category/topics/forced-abortion>.

Rosenberg, Matt. "China One Child Policy - Overview of the One Child Policy in China." Geography Home Page - Geography at About.com. 01 Feb. 2011. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/onechild.htm>.





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