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Second child is a growing option (2)

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

08:18, July 24, 2012

In Jiujiang, one of the province's major cities, the family planning department in Xunyang district received 15 second-baby applications from March to June.

All were from couples who were themselves single children and they accounted for 31 percent of applications during this period.

"More and more couples in the category wanted a second child over the past 3 years in the district," Yu Liye, an official with the department, said.

However, couples, including Han, complained that the application process was complicated and bureaucratic.

"I don't understand why they required our parents' marriage certificate," she said.

Han's husband is from Guangdong province and does not have a Beijing hukou— residence permit — so their application took two months before approval was granted.

Documents required included residential permits, marriage certificate, ID cards, their daughter's birth certificate and a certificate to prove that the birth was permitted and the marriage certificates of both her parents and her parents-in-law.

However, compared with Wang Mei's experience, Han said she felt fortunate.

When Wang, 32, discovered that she was unexpectedly pregnant last fall, both she and her husband were excited and believed that the baby was a gift from God.

Both were single children. But getting approval tuned out to be far from simple.

"I don't have a Beijing hukou, so I had to travel for hundreds of kilometers to my hometown to get dozens of stamps on the required forms. These forms proved that I had only been married once and had only one child," Wang told Beijing Evening News.

"My parents were even asked to apply for a new version of their marriage certificate as my father's name on the original certificate is different from the name on his hukou," she recalled.

Getting all the papers in order, though, was not enough.

"The family planning department asked 10 neighbors to discuss whether I could have another baby. And their opinions were posted up in my community," she said.

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