China is a nation full of only children who are doted upon by their parents. The nation adopted a one-child policy in 1979 in an effort to keep overpopulation at bay. The notion of eliminating the one-child policy has been discussed (for more on that, see my previous post China May Eliminate One-Child Policy).
But now, in the wake of the May 12 earthquake in which thousands of children died, the one-child policy has been lifted--partially.
"Thousands of parents have openly challenged the government over why so many schools collapsed during the earthquake," according to the New York Times.
Parents of children who were killed or seriously injured in the earthquake are now exempt from the one-child policy, and can apply for legal permission to have another child, according to the Associated Press.
"The committee announced Monday that if a couple’s legally born child was killed in the earthquake, an illegal child under 18 years could be registered as a legal replacement. If the dead child was illegal, it said the family would no longer be responsible for outstanding fines, although parents would not be reimbursed for penalties already paid," according to the New York Times.
"Zhongxin Sun, a sociology professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, said some mothers may be too old to conceive; others may have undergone sterilization. 'To lose a child is to lose everything for Chinese parents,' said Professor Sun, who is a visiting scholar at Yale University Law School. 'A child is their only hope,'" according to the New York Times.