9 Advantages and Disadvantages of the One Child Policy

For more than 30 years, China had adopted the social experiment, One Child Policy. As the term suggests, every couple or family should only have one child. This was a law as well and parents who went against this and go caught had to pay hefty fines. It was China’s measure to control population growth, a bid to stop over population. Those who survived the culture are called “Lost Generation” while the children who were born under this policy are referred to as “Lonely Generation”, according to Pulitzer-winning author, Mei Fong, who penned the book “One Child”.

Now that it is over, a baby boom is expected in China but the impact of the One Child Policy is still being felt by its citizens, with the generation becoming older. However, the lift of the policy is conditional. Parents will only be allowed to have two children and this is only permitted if one of the parents is an only child. With the policy relaxation, around 3 million children are expected to born every year. And while some are happy about the development, there are also those who say the policy was good for the economy. One thing cannot be denied, though. This made an impact to China and to the families who had to follow this enacted law. Let us take a look at the benefits and setbacks of this policy.

List of Advantages of One Child Policy

1. Population Control.
China is one of the most populous countries in the world, with its population over 1 billion. With making the One Child Policy a law that every Chinese family has to abide by and around 400 million births were prevented. Without the policy, this number will continue to add up and this can aggravate the problem of over population.

2. Job Opportunities.
With the strict rule of One Child Policy, children who grew up during this period were able to find jobs easily since there will be positions available. With the number of retirees rising, jobs will need to be filled in and the younger generation will be the ones to take the place of the available jobs.

3. Better Life.
One of the advantages of having only a child in the family is the opportunity given to the newborn of having a comfortable life. This is because all the attention, love and financial resources of the parents will be enjoyed by the child. He or she will have the chance to get the best education, better health care and job opportunities. For advocates for the One Child Policy, this social experiment promises a better future for the children. Parents will be able to save up for education and send their kids to the best schools.

4. Incentives.
As a reward for complying with the policy, Chinese parents who followed the rule were given certificates which they used to enjoy some perks such as getting discounts, applying for education loans for their children, longer days of maternity leave and housing loans. Without the policy, parents will not be able to take advantage of these privileges.

List of Disadvantages of One Child Policy

1. Forced Abortions.
Perhaps, one of the setbacks and negative effect of this social experiment is the high number of abortions women had to go through just so they will not be forced to pay fines and sometimes be forced to undergo sterilizations. Reports say that doctors perform 1,500 abortions even if the mother is already seven months pregnant. Women suffer not only physically but also psychologically and emotionally.

2. Added Burden on Children.
Being an only child might give one the perks of having his or her toys for himself or herself and for getting all the attention of parents. However, a major disadvantage here is when parents are old and sickly. It will be hard for the child to juggle between family life, career and care of parents. It is already difficult enough to take care of an elderly, how much more if there are two people to take care of. Moreover, if the finances are low and medical attention is needed, the financial burden will be carried by the child alone. Unlike with having a sibling or sibling, being the only child can be a burden in the future.

3. Increased Adoption Number.
The implementation of this policy also forced parents who did not want to abort their second children to either hide them or send them up for adoption. Also, since sons are more favored choices in families, some girls who were born were also put up for adoption in other countries like the United States. Female babies were either hidden or adopted, if not having to be aborted.

4. Transference of Frustration.
Reports also say that parents who had to follow this forceful and stringent policy had kept their frustrations inside and over the years, transferred their emotions to their children. Consequently, much more is expected from their children when it comes to education and achievements. This is why these children are considered the “Lonely Generation” because despite the comfortable life they enjoy, they carry a burden as well. Not only do they get too much attention that can feel suffocated with, they are expected to work hard and excel. All these responsibilities can have a negative impact on the children.

5. Lack of Skills.
Some children who were born during the social experimentation say that since they were given all the attention and considered princes and princesses, this has also led for them to lack in skills in life. Since they lived comfortably and did not have to work hard to earn and get education, they will find it hard to adjust in certain situations that require manual labor or handyman skills.

The One Child Policy of China has a great impact on Chinese parents and children. Although some children born in this generation are happy and content, there are also those who wished the policy was more lenient. As for whether it is what is best for the country or its relaxation is the better option, the result will appear in the coming years.