Helen Whalen Cohen

There are no words. A Chinese couple who managed to avoid authorities long enough to actually birth a second child were fined 1.3 million yuan ($204,000) after family-planning authorities deemed them 'rich in assets', LifeNews.com reports. So far this is the highest fine on record. Even worse is that the amount was compounded because the baby turned out to be a girl.

Local family planning authorities worked with commerce, industry and township officials to investigate the couple’s finances. The parents were deemed “rich in assets” and hit with the highest fine on record.

The shock of the amount is compounded by the sex of the child. The couple’s first child, born in 1995, is a son. The second costly addition, born in February, is a baby girl. In a country where aborting girls is so prevalent it is suffering from a lack of females, China ought to be paying couples to have girls. Instead, these parents somehow eluded the authorities long enough to give birth, and paid a premium when caught.

The South China Morning Post  reports that fines for violating China’s one-child policy are equivalent to three to 10 times the average after-tax income of the city where the couple lives or the net income of rural residents. But the family planning authority in this case said it based the fine on the provincial Population and Family Planning Ordinance. Parents with higher than average disposable incomes have to pay more.


Helen Whalen Cohen

Helen Whalen Cohen is Associate Editor and Community Manager at Townhall.com.