Since 1979, the People’s Republic of China has enforced laws restricting the number of
children had by Chinese couples in an effort to stem the social, economic, and
environmental challenges created by the nation’s exploding population. Noncompliance results in hefty fines. Implementation of this “family planning”
policy has seen much criticism for its perceived human rights intrusions of
family development and potential to reinforce gender bias. Present laws limit many couples to having a
single child, but allow a second child if couples live in rural regions and
have only a daughter, are of a minority ethnicity, or have no siblings themselves. But, change is coming.