Chinese Couple Disobeys One-Child Policy by Having Eight Children

January 8, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. surrogate mother (n.) 
[sur-uh-geyt, -git, suhr-] [muhth-er]–  a woman who gets pregnant for someone who cannot bear a child
Example: He searched for a surrogate mother because his wife had difficulties in having children.

2. defy (v.) [dih-fahy; n. dih-fahy, dee-fahy]– to refuse to follow or obey
Example: The authorities arrest criminals who defy the law.

3. exceptional (adj.) [ik-sep-shuh-nl]– not ordinary
Example The way that they took care of eight kids is exceptional.

4. evade (v.) [ih-veyd]– to avoid or to escape something
Example: The criminal tried to evade punishment by running away, but he was caught before he even reached the bus station.

5. fine (n.) [fahyn]– a punishment, in the form of money, for breaking a rule or law
Example Tax law breakers must pay a fine of $200,000.

Read the text below.

A wealthy couple from Guangdong, China faces legal penalties after violating the country’s one-child policy. The couple has 8 children--five of whom were borne by two surrogate mothers.

China’s one-child rule was implemented thirty years ago to control the growing population. Now with 1.35 billion people, China’s population is the largest in the world. But many people are against this policy, believing it is not needed in the country anymore.

While many Chinese have defied the one-child policy, the Guangdong couple’s case is considered exceptional.

The couple are said to be rich business people who had experienced difficulty in having children. After artificial insemination, the mother successfully gave birth to triplets in 2010. The children were born in Hong Kong, a popular option for wealthy Chinese who want to evade mainland China’s one-child policy.

Since the children were triplets, their birth is counted as one. This means the couple’s three children are considered legal under Chinese law.

However, their other five children—a set of triplets and a set of twins—were delivered by two surrogate mothers within only two months’ time. Surrogate births are considered illegal in China, although people rarely report such cases to the court.

The couple’s wealth and unique situation have made the matter a big legal issue. The couple’s case was first raised in 2011, but it again drew much public attention after a provincial court meeting last December.

According to provincial rules, the fine for the violation is estimated to be ten times the couple’s yearly income.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think the one-child policy is effective in controlling a population? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think some people choose to go against one-child policy? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some people are not afraid to defy some laws?
·         What do you think would encourage people to follow a law?


January 8, 2013