Last week, the Chinese government announced it would allow two children per family after holding a strict one-child policy since the 1970s where officials used abortions, fines and forced sterilization in an attempt to control the population.
“To promote a balanced growth of population, China will continue to uphold the basic national policy of population control and improve its strategy on population development, China will fully implement the policy of ‘one couple, two children’ in a proactive response to the issue of an aging population,” the Communist Party was quoted in a communique by Xinhua, the state-run news agency.
Some are unhappy with the decision. Human rights activists think the government should have no say in the number of children a couple has. Chinese citizens are upset because many are now too old to have a second child, and others say more children could drain the country’s economic and ecological resources.
Others like White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest think the policy is a “positive step.”
I’m conflicted. I was adopted at nine-and-a-half months old from China. I was left by a statue in front of the train station by my parents, a place where I would be found and taken to an orphanage. I was only around 10 days old. I don’t know anything about my family. I don’t know if I was the second child, if I was the first one and I was given up because I’m a female or whether it was because I was considered special needs. I might never know.
With the now two-child policy, I am forced to think of what my life would have been like if it was in place before I was born. I would have had a different life. I would have known my biological parents. I would have lived in a different culture thousands of miles from where I am now. I would’ve truly been Chinese. But I have to wonder, would I have an education? Would I even be able to read? Would I already be married with my own children? Would I even have a home?
While I wonder about the possibility of my “other life,” I remember the one-child policy gave me more than I could have ever imagined. It hasn’t always been easy, but I was blessed. I was one who got a forever family. I got a mom, dad, brother and sister. I’ve been surrounded by Christ-followers who love and support me emotionally and spiritually. I get to pursue higher education, and I’m doing what I love.
Although I’m oddly thankful for the one-child policy, knowing families can now legally have two children is a relief. Too many lives were lost while the one-child policy was in place. Hopefully this will be the start of a new era.
Check out the accompanying news article here.