Single parents to get birth certificates in Hubei

Updated: 2013-12-02 22:22

By Huang Zhiling (

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Guo Chu sighed with relief when she learned her 3-year-old child would be eligible for a birth certificate in line with a new regulation recently promulgated by the Hubei Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission and Hubei Provincial Department of Public Health.

Guo, 23, became pregnant when she was 19 to a man she had known for a year. As the baby was born outside of marriage, it was not eligible for a birth certificate.

As a result, the child could not be registered in the houkou, or household registration system, and would not be able to attend school, Guo told Beijing News.

The new regulation grants any baby born in Hubei a birth certificate, regardless of its parents’ marital status.

While netizens suspect the new regulation will encourage births outside of marriage, which is against traditional Chinese values, experts consider it a reproductive right.

It is the parents who are to blame for giving birth without endorsing the nation’s birth policy while it is the children who are hurt by the lack of a birth certificate, said Yan Meifu, chief of the population and education development research center of Hubei University.

“Babies should be entitled to protection of their basic human rights as soon as they are born. Society and schools have to be tolerant of babies born outside of marriage,” Shi Renbing, chief of the population and policy research institute of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei, told Beijing News.

According to the newspaper, an increasing number of rural women give birth before marriage to prove they are fertile.