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Family with 8 children defies China one-child rule

Published on Dec 14, 2012 6:16 PM
A girl poses for a photograph at a commercial area of downtown Shanghai, November 28, 2012. Guangdong officials were figuring out on Friday how to deal with the revelation that a family now has 8 children, some through surrogate mothers. --PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - China's one-child rule has numerous critics, but perhaps none have so emphatically defied the policy as a couple who have accumulated four boys and four girls - some born to two surrogate mothers.

Authorities are calculating how high a fine to impose on the family, described as "rich merchants" in the southern province of Guangdong, state media said on Friday, estimating that it could reach 10 times their annual income.

"A high fee will be imposed on the parents," the Southern Daily reported, citing local family planning and health officials. "The investigation into the case is basically complete."

The one-child policy was imposed three decades ago to limit growth in China's population, now the largest in the world at 1.35 billion, but critics say it is no longer needed, while there are some loopholes parents can try to exploit.

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