A family of nine living in Beijing are being fined 700,000 yuan for having six children more than stipulated by China’s family planning policy.
According to Sina, the couple living in Beijing’s Tongzhou district began having children in 1984. While the first three children were lucky enough to get a hukou, China’s household registration certificate, four have been unable to attain one.
A document released last year by the local population and family planning commission revealed that the family has to pay the 700,000 yuan fine for the four children who still have no hukou. The fine was calculated according to the annual income of rural residents in 2012 and includes late fees.
Zhang Zelong, the third child who got his hukou in July, said that four of the seven have had to drop out of school, and the two youngest children who are primary school students may also need to drop out in the future. “Without a decent education, I can only find off jobs in small factories,” he said.
As Zhang’s younger sister did not have her hukou, she was unable to get a marriage certificate, which means her children will face the same problems which have haunted the family for years. “My sister was divorced because of this and now she’s suffering from depression,” Zhang explained.
A local official has been quoted as saying that the family has been repeatedly informed about the fine which is due, however in the meantime, local authorities are turning a blind eye to the family.
“It’s quite rare to see six ‘black’ kids in one family, the parents should be held responsible for that,” said Hou Dongmin, a professor at the Renmin University of China.
In recent years, China has taken steps towards loosening its family planning laws in order to avoid a demographic time-bomb which several decades down the line could leave the country with too few workers to sustain an aging population.