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Help couples who have lost their only child

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-03-27 22:31

Helping middle-aged and old parents who have lost their only child is the government's obligation as well as a big challenge, says an article in People's Daily. Excerpt:

The Chinese government has been enforcing family-planning policies nationwide since the early 1980s. Statistics show 76,000 families lose their only child each year in China. There are more than one million families where the couple cannot have their own children any more, leaving about two million middle-aged and old people inflicted with heavy psychological suffering.

The government is obliged to provide necessary help for these lonely parents. Research shows 70 to 80 percent of the two million lonely parents have serious mental problems or psychological obstacles. More than 60 percent have chronic diseases.

The government should increase financial assistance and medical care subsidies for them, which should be part of the family-planning policy, as they followed the government policy when they were young.

Government and society, especially the community neighborhoods and social organizations, should play bigger roles in comforting these people.

The family-planning policy has been in effect for more than 30 years. Authorities should adapt the policy to the new national conditions and make assisting couples who have lost their only child an indispensable part of the policy.

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