At the heart of every blockbuster rests a simple question: how far would you go to save a loved one?
In China, the distances are further from here to a galaxy far, far away and the trials exceed Rocky’s worst nightmares.
Having a second child in China is not just heavily frowned upon, it is against the law. The government is ruthless and despicable in its dark crusade against the unborn: in some regions of China infanticide is commonplace, two-child mothers are forcibly sterilized, and corpses of the unborn are tossed in ditches on the side of the road. It is little surprise that around 500 women commit suicide every day in China
There are three major routes for the daring few to have a second child.
1) Face the Fines
Wealthy families can pay the stiffs fines to have seconds. The costs per child range with from providence to providence and with the ferocity of the population administrators. Many of the fines range between 200,000 yuan and 300,000 yuan, $20,000 and $30,000 American dollars, per year in a country where the household income is just over $10,000 American dollars. The costs rise quickly with additional child. Only the elite have two children, having three is almost unheard of , and more than that seems to be sacrilege. This path is only open to the wealthy. The 99% must look elsewhere.
2) Bribe the Bureaucrats
For the majority of the 160,000 “out of plan” children are born into China this is the best option since corruption is a core pillar in Chinese culture. For a bride, officials are more than happy to legitimize the paperwork for illegal children. Loopholes in the law are stretched to the breaking point. The second child can be declared a member of a childless family or that of a rural family which was alloted two children. More daring families risk simply declaring the second child a twin of the legal first-born one. As families get poorer they go to further extremes to meet the loophole conditions; it has driven some to marry relatives to hide seconds while others hide children when inspectors arrive. This path is dangerous, however it is the only option presented to most parents.
3) Births Abroad
Middle income parents choose to have babies abroad. Some are born in capitalist cities like Hong Kong, where the restrictions are not in place. Others go to great distances; some fly all the way to Japan or even the United States to birth children. Illegal clinics host the expecting mothers, paying lucrative rates, until their children are ready. These children are then birthed like normal babies in conventional hospitals. The problems arise with getting the mother and baby back to the family. Since the babies were born on foreign soil they are technically foreigners. This makes life difficult because parents still pay hiked rates for education and health of the children. This is generally the cheapest legal option.
Out of love and passion every year tens of thousands of children are born “out of plan” every year. This is a bold statement about the indomitable nature of mankind as the desire for having multiple children survived terrifying propaganda encompassing half a century.
This situation brings to mind a quote from chaos theorist Malcolm, of Jurassic Park, “Life will find a way.” Another, lesser known, Jurassic Park quote comes to mind as well: ” OH-MY-GO-THE-DINOSAURS-ARE-EATING-ME-SHOT-IT-SHOT-IT-SH——*crunch, crunch*.” With its one-child policy the Chinese government is fighting the very forces of evolution. A hundred thousand years of primal struggle cannot be snuffed out by a few misguided politicians and a little red book.
When the Jurassic side of China’s one-child-policy emerges the country will be torn asunder. Love of family is stronger than the logic of population parameters. These massing illegals parents and activists indicate a revolution will happen sooner rather than later. Change is coming to China: life will find a way.