China relaxes 1-child rule for families affected by devastating earthquake

Parents whose children died or were disabled in China's devastating earthquake will be allowed to have more children after lawmakers in the hardest-hit province waived strict family-planning controls, state media reported Saturday. The Sichuan provincial legislature passed exemptions Friday to relax family-planning laws that are commonly referred to as the one-child policy. Under the exemptions, families whose only child died or was disabled or whose two children were both disabled may now have another child as may families in which one parent was disabled, the reports said. The May 7.9-magnitude quake left nearly 70,000 people dead in China's worst natural disaster in 30 years. Among the dead were children from 18,000 families, the Xinhua News Agency reported.