Marriage certificate no longer needed for receiving birth subsidy in multiple Chinese cities to boost birth rate
Published: Aug 30, 2023 11:41 AM
Pregnant women and their partners at a childbirth class. Photos: CFP and IC

Pregnant women and their partners at a childbirth class. Photos: CFP and IC


The marriage certificate is no longer needed for applying for and receiving maternity subsidy in multiple Chinese cities to boost the flagging birth rate, recent news reports revealed.

Starting from September 1, the insured individuals are no longer required to provide marriage certificate, birth service certificate when applying for maternity insurance benefits, said medical security authority in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

Not just Chongqing, similar optimized policy to encourage childbirth has been implemented in multiple places including Southwest China's Guizhou Province, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Central China's Hunan Province and East China's Jiangsu Province, where marriage is no longer a restrictive condition for women to enjoy childbirth subsidies.

"Being able to apply for maternity benefits like any other mother not only means an increase in economic support for single mothers like me, but also signifies further protection of our reproductive rights as women and the legitimate rights and interests of every mother and child," said Qin Yun (pseudonym), an unmarried mother from the city of Zhuzhou in Hunan, who expressed her overwhelming joy after becoming the first unmarried mother in Hunan to receive maternity benefits, Hunan Daily reported.

As long as the payment obligations for maternity insurance are fulfilled, there are no thresholds at the national level for enjoying corresponding benefits, and the relevant materials required for receiving maternity allowances through maternity insurance do not need to include documents such as marriage certificates, said Liu Juan, deputy director of the Treatment Protection Department of the National Medical Insurance Bureau, at a press conference held by the National Health Commission in August 2022.

Multiple places across China have been introducing positive policies such as guaranteeing insurance and giving childcare or house-buying subsidies to boost its flagging rate of childbirth and number of marriage registration.

In 2022, the population in the Chinese mainland registered first negative growth in 61 years, decreasing by 850,000 year-on-year to 1.4118 billion, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in January. 

According to NBS, the number of births was 9.56 million with the birth rate standing at 6.77 births per 1,000 people in 2022, the lowest since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.