Beijing: As China tries to slow its demographic decline, women like Chen Loin could be part of the solution. The divorced 33-year-old lives in Chengdu, capital of the southwestern Sichuan province, which legalised registration of children by unmarried women in February, something China is considering implementing nationwide to address record low birth rates.
The changes mean un- married women can take pa- id maternity leave and receive child subsidies previously only available to married couples. Crucially, Chen could access in-vitro fertility (IVF) treatment legally in a private clinic. She is now 10 weeks pregnant. “Becoming a single parent is not for everyone, but I’m happy with the decision,” said Chen, who works in logistics.
“Equally, getting married or not is for each individual to decide. We have liberalised the policies here and I know a lot of single women are doing IVF.”
Concerned about China’s first population drop in six decades and its rapid ageing, the government’s political advisers proposed in March that single and unmarried women should have access to egg freezing and IVF treatment, among other services.
China’s leaders have not commented publicly on the recommendations.