August 12, 2013

I read with great interest The Post’s excellent Aug. 9 front-page article “Parents’ pain is magnified by China’s one-child rule” about the emotional toll that China’s population-control policies take on parents who have lost children. These policies have far-reaching consequences, such as the growing disparity between the number of boys and girls being born, the dwindling work force and the lack of children to care for the elderly.

What has additionally struck me is how very alone the generations born under the one-child rule must feel. The parents interviewed in the article were born before the rule took effect in 1979, so they have extended family to turn to for comfort and help. However, children born to parents who were also born under the one-child policy will live their lives without brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles, or cousins. Their only family will be their parents and grandparents. The death of parents, for example, becomes all the more devastating to children when there is no family “safety net” to turn to. Life could quickly become very bleak for children in that position. It is heartbreaking.

Lynn W. Streett, Springfield