Once the New Year was ushered, married Chinese couples were no longer required to pay the $12,000 birth control if they decide to raise more than one child.
After more than three decades since the one-child policy was implemented in China between 1978 and 1980, it was scrapped to give way to the new rule – a two-child policy. This decision came due to concerns about the country’s aging population. It was first announced in October 2015 by the Communist party after a four-day summit and started taking effect on January 1, 2016.
The one-child policy was first put in place to control the population, preventing around 400 million births in the process. Policymakers even credited it as one of the factors that aided in China’s economic boom.
The new two-child rule is expected to help the country welcome 8 million babies every year, allowing Chinese families to experience what it is like to have brothers and sisters without the hefty fine and the possibility of dealing with forced abortions. However, the policy still limits the birth of additional children.
Aside from an aging population, Chinese leaders were also worried about gender imbalance as more parents favored raising boys over girls and a shrinking labor force that would be necessary in supporting the growing elderly population.
According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, they expect an additional 30 million people to the country’s work force by 2050, seeing as how they could possibly have 3 million extra babies born every year within the next five years with the change of policy.
While some experts predict a baby boom from the implementation of the two-child policy, others said that birth figures are bound to vary by economic condition and region. There are also experts who warned that Chinese parents may not be so keen on having more children, considering the expense of raising one.