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Fujian cuts red tape for birth certificates

Updated: 2015-05-26 07:27
By Sun Li and Hu Meidong in Fuzhou (China Daily)

Couples in Fujian province no longer need to apply for a birth approval certificate when they plan to have a first child, and they can obtain a certificate for a second child simply by handing in a guarantee that confirms they are eligible to have a second child, according to the province's Health and Family Planning Commission.

A couple only needs to provide their marriage certificate and ID cards to register for the birth of their first child.

For those who want a second child, if the situation of the birth of their first child is hard to verify, such as the husband and wife coming from different cities or regions, a couple needs to provide their hukou (household registration), ID cards and marriage certificate as well as a written statement that makes it clear that they are entitled to have a second child.

Fujian cuts red tape for birth certificates

Xu Zhengping, an official with the Health and Family Planning Commission, said the policy aims to streamline the administrative procedure for birth registration.

Before the policy adjustment, couples had to apply for a birth approval certificate in a process that could take several days of investigation and background checks by their employers and local government.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress endorsed the two-child policy in 2013, allowing couples to have a second child if either parent is an only child. Fujian relaxed the one-child policy on March 31 last year.

Zhong Minrong, a resident of Fuzhou, said he and his wife had been considering having a baby, and the convenience of the new policy means they are more likely to go ahead.

Xu said it is possible that some couples will lie about the composition of their family to have a second child.

"If cheating is discovered, their certificate is of course invalid," Xu said.

Gan Mantang, a professor of sociology at Fuzhou University, said, "The policy is a bold move to cut bureaucracy and may contribute to a growing interest among couples in having a baby, especially a second child."

Contact the writers through sunli@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 05/26/2015 page4)

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