Saturday, 24 December 2011

Eight Too Many

A bizarre story has come out of Guangdong where a couple didn't just have one child -- they had eight.

According to the report in the Guangzhou Daily, the wife is a successful businesswoman who tried many times to get pregnant. The wealthy couple spent nearly 1 million RMB to pay for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) as well as two surrogate mothers.

The IVF was so successful that all eight embryos developed and so they kept them to term.

An anonymous source told the newspaper: "The couple were anxious to have babies and had no difficulty in affording test-tube babies, surrogates or living expenses, so they decided to keep them all," he said.

The story was kept a secret until the media discovered a picture of the babies -- four boys and four girls -- taken by a photography studio. The babies were born in September and October 2010.

Note to self -- do not take pictures of your eight brood together in a photo studio even though you want to brag.

Couples are only supposed to have one child unless both parents are single children and have the option of having another.

The penalty for breaking the rules is a fine and loss of some benefits such as free education and healthcare, but for many wealthy couples in China, they don't mind paying the price. However the extra children are called "black children" and technically have no legal rights.

There are probably millions of these children, many in their 20s. What has become of them in their bid to go to school and get jobs?

In any event, people are angry that those with money can get away with having more children because they can pay.

It only creates a greater gap between the rich and the poor -- exacerbating an already serious issue.

So move over Nadya Suleman, aka "octomom" -- there's an "octomom" and "octodad" in China.











The penalty for breaking the rules on planned birth is the imposition of a fine and a loss of some benefits such as free education and healthcare, but for many wealthy couples in China this is a price worth paying. Their children are known as "black children" and technically have no legal rights.

Many people already opt for private education and healthcare and do not mind missing out on the chronically underfunded health system and state schooling.

Guangdong provincial health bureau vice deputy chief Liao Xinbo said: "It's like the rich should have the right to reproduce as often as they want? It's absolutely wrong."

China introduced its one-child policy in 1979 to restrict births in the world's most populous nation.


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