China Delivers Three-Child Policy, but It’s Too Late for Many

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When Li Fanfang, a 33-year-old former government worker in Hangzhou, was fired by her employer in December for having a third child, she went to court.

That was after an arbitrage board said she wasn’t covered by protections for new mothers because she had violated China’s birth policies. Her case was well publicized, but she was hesitant to use her full name in media interviews for fear of drawing online criticism for breaking the rules.

All along, she didn’t feel she did anything wrong. Now, China’s demographics has put Beijing on her side. On Monday came the announcement that all Chinese couples will be allowed to have three children.

“I’m very excited,” Ms. Li said. Births that Chinese authorities deem “excessive,” have exposed parents to fines and other punishments. Ms. Li, who is awaiting a court ruling, said she wants to see China become a birth-friendly society. “No baby is excessive.”

In an online support group of mothers with more than two children, Ms. Li and other mothers shared virtual “red-envelope” gifts to celebrate the announcement Monday, which was accompanied by pledges to make raising children less expensive.

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