Hundreds of parents who have lost their only children gathered in Beijing on Tuesday to call for special amendments to China's Population and Family Planning Law that ensure their rights.
"We demand that the government amend the law and shoulder its responsibility for providing for us, since we have obeyed the family planning policy," Xie Jinnan, a 46-year-old woman from Henan Province who lost her only son in 2010, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
More than 300 parents from all over China gathered in front of the office of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) on Tuesday, Xie said.
Hai Qin (pseudonym), a woman living in Anhui Province who lost her only child, told the Global Times on Tuesday that national legislators may pass the amendments during the next session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, set to be held by the end of December.
"We want the government to hear our voice before the law is amended. The amended law should offer us help and support," Hai added.
In December 2013, the NHFPC and five other departments jointly announced an increase in the monthly subsidy for such parents to 340 yuan ($53) for urban residents and 170 yuan for rural residents.
"The current subsidy is not enough to sustain our daily life," Ma said.
The subsidy varies in different regions in accordance with local financial conditions. Some southern cities such as Guangzhou in Guangdong Province offer parents around 2,000 yuan monthly, while some northern provinces such as Heilongjiang only offer the minimum subsidy, Hai said.
Xie said that the parent group wants the government to issue a standard national subsidy for parents who have lost their only children.
Yang Wenzhuang, an official with the NHFPC, told The Beijing News in June that his bureau has been working on specific measures to create a "medical green channel" for those parents and to designate representatives to keep in contact with them.
The one-child policy was enacted in China in 1980 to limit population growth by restricting urban married couples to having only one child. Many couples who have lost their only children are too old to have another. Some 1 million households lost their only children as of 2010, news site caixin.com reported in 2013.