Last year, China terminated its one child policy “to off-set the ageing population”. But this step did not have the anticipated effect: “90 million couples had the opportunity to have a second child”, but “almost half of them are over 40 years of age”. The debate on surrogacy was therefore initiated and the People’s Daily – an official media outlet – boasted the “benefits” last Friday.
In 2016, 17.87 million Chinese babies were born, “i.e. one million more than in 2015”. However, this figure is “far from the target of 2 million additional births each year” needed to boost the generations. According to demographer, Isabelle Attanée, “the births in 2016 are also the result of the “windfall effect”, but “that probably won’t last”. And this increase could be partly due to an improved birth registration system.
Surrogacy is currently banned in China. However, “even if recourse to surrogate mothers and the trading of sperm, eggs or embryos were authorised, there is nothing to suggest that the ageing of the population will be halted”. Material conditions (longer working hours, cost of education, lack of child care) do not encourage couples to raise more than one child.
La Croix, Dorian Malovic (6/02/2017); AFP (7/02/2017)