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Resource Information Center: China

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Response to Information Request Number: CHN99003.ZLA
Date: 22 October 1998
Subject: China: Family Planning
From: INS Resource Information Center, Washington, DC
Keywords: China / Family Planning


Family Planning: What is the policy regarding a Chinese couple with two children, one from the husband's previous marriage and one from the wife's previous marriage?


There are generally few exceptions to the one-child policy principle, and the regulations are complicated. In a 1995 paper, Canada's Research Directorate of the Immigration and Refugee Board cited Peng Xizhe's Demographic Transition in China: Fertility Trends since the 1950s as including a 1984 table listing 15 exceptions for allowing a second birth and charting them for 25 of the 30 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. The paper noted that virtually all areas allowed for a second birth if "one spouse in a second marriage has never had children and the other has one child from a previous marriage" (DIRB, January 1995). This exception, however, only applies to the situation where one spouse in a second marriage has never had children.

According to a professor at the University of California, Irvine who specializes in China's population control policy, in general, if each newly remarried spouse already has a child, they are allowed no more. However, there is no policy on specific issues such as this a the central level. This kind of issue is handled by the provinces in regulations usually called "Birth Planning Regulations of xx Province." The professor stated that in her opinion, it is safe to assume that in the great majority of cases, couples in such circumstances would not be allowed more children (16 Oct. 1998).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the RIC within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Documentation, Information and Research Branch (DIRB), Immigration and Refugee Board, Ottawa, January 1995. China: One-Child Policy Update (REFWORLD)

Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine. 16 October 1998. Electronic Mail Exchange.

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