The reality of Family Control in China

个人随笔 Alan 11年前 (2013-10-31) 5061次浏览 0个评论 扫描二维码

Later we learned that we can get this “small card” at the community clinic(the community where we rent our apartment). But things aren’t that easy, before that, we need to get a “Registration Form” from the Community Administration, what’s the catch here? ID Cards, Marriage Certificates, 2 Photos, Temporary Resident Certificates(Oh, I forgot to mention both of us are not from Shanghai, I think we should be called Migrant Workers), Childbirth Permission(I think there’s a fancier name probably First Child Registration or something like that, to get that, looks like we need to have Migrant Worker Childbirth Certificate).

Okay, my first little trouble is the Temporary Resident Certificate(TRC), we do have the certificates, however, it’s required to extend those every 6 months, which we didn’t do, because we can only do so on workdays, and we need to work on workdays, a deadlock. Okay, to break the deadlock, I managed to have a few hours this Monday, and first I went to the village/blocks level Administration but asked a wrong question, I didn’t say I wanted to extend the TRC, but rather said I want the childbirth related materials and my wife and I are not local residents. Then I was told that I should go to the offices on the other side of the street, and I did, the middle age woman who answered simply said “no longer here” and wouldn’t care to disclose where should I go. Luckily another much elder man helped me out, and that woman finally told me what I should take and where I should go(although she wasn’t really right about the materials I should prepare). Anyway, I did learn that I need to go back to the Administration I just came from to get a paper, which proves that I stay at the apartment I rent. Guess what? The people who were a few minutes ago just “disappeared”, no, not in a horror movie. I learned from the next door that they went to “work”, not sure what’s the meaning. And one other thing I learned was I could come back at around 10:30, better before 11:00, because they would come back to have meal, and apparently they’d finish the morning job at 11:00, early lunch?

Since I still have some time, I went to the Community Administration, where I learned the materials we need to submit mentioned before(the woman there wasn’t friendly at all) and made sure the only I need for the extension of TRC was the paper from the Blocks Administration. No redundant details, went back to both places and got the TRC extended.
Let me take a little a time to explain to you about what I know about the Childbirth Permission(CP) and the Migrant Worker Childbirth Certificate(MWCC). CP seems like a way to avoid couples who’re “not qualified” to have second child from having a second child, notice the word “permission” is used here, although the official name for it has changed through time, something like First Child Service Registration, most people still refer to it as CP.
MWCC is for migrant workers, like my wife and I, we work at companies, and pay for a different Medicare every month. And one of the purpose of Medicare is to help us cover the fee of bearing a child, and MWCC is required if we want to get it from the government.
Where do we get CP and MWCC? My wife’s hometown, which in my case also my hometown. So I took the train back to my hometown last night, why in such a hurry? It isn’t that easy to get “reserved bed”(for bearing a child) in Shanghai, and we were told by one hospital last weekend that no reservation’s accepted if the pregnancy’s over 40 days at obstetrics specialized hospitals in Shanghai. Don’t ask when most women learn their pregnancy.
Anyway, I got up early this morning and went to the Town Family Control Office(TFCO) and one woman there complained that why didn’t I tell them earlier and then told me I need to have an application form from my village and deposit RMB500 at Xinyongshe(banking system built for farmers, don’t know why we still have it now that there’re so many banks all over China). And most importantly, the Zhuren(a title for one kind of administrator) is not around, she went to meeting in the city and will come back in the afternoon. That’s for the CP, I got the MWCC there simply by answering a few questions and providing one photo of my wife. I have to provide a detail, the lady who’s in charge of MWCC issuance was recruited not long ago, I don’t know if that’s the reason why I didn’t run into troubles on getting MWCC.
Then I went to Xinyongshe and it wasn’t my lucky day or should I say not their lucky day, for some reason(either they had run out of the booklets or some system bug) I couldn’t deposit the RMB500. So I went back to the TFCO and told them that, they said that wasn’t mandatory at that time and I can ask my parents do that later. So the main problem the Zhuren wasn’t there.
I went to the village administration to have the application form, guess what, the Zhuren there wasn’t around, he’s in a meeting in the town.
After had the lunch, my father called the village Zhuren, he was on his way back, with some waiting, I got the signature and stamp for the application form. TFCO once again, they’re on duty at 14:30(3 hours’ lunch break). I waited until about 14:20, the MWCC lady waived at me, until then I learned that they were in the office building, the gate was locked from inside. And the MWCC lady said the Zhuren wasn’t back yet, probably another Zhuren can help me. I talked with her for a while and learned that 9 times out of 10 the Zhurens are either at meetings or doing surveys among villages. Finally I called the Zhuren, but with no luck, her cellphone’s turned off. And my dad helped me to find out that the Zhuren wasn’t likely to come back that day, and as you know, I’m on the CRH train back to Shanghai.

Postscript:We did get the big card, not quite smoothly. And  I realize the title is really appropriate, but don’t care to change it. It’s true that the bureaucracy still exists at lots of places. With the rate of seniors rising, the government isn’t making it easier for people to have their babies, the reality is that in cities like Shanghai many adults wouldn’t even care to get married for the pressures, not to mention having babies. Well, that needs to be dealt with through the macro planning.

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