Southwest China's Sichuan province has taken an exploratory step to relax birth registration, aiming for a more sound population surveillance system and balanced population growth.
The new rule by the province's health commission, released in late December, canceled restrictions that people can only get their babies registered in a marriage.
The new rule applies to residents holding a Sichuan hukou, or household registration, or who are permanent residents without a hukou.
The rule will take effect from Feb 15 for five years.
According to the rule, people should get a birth registration before delivery, though those who miss the registration are allowed to do so after giving birth.
With the registration, pregnant women can have better access to a series of medical services.
The rule has also streamlined registration procedures, under which the registry officials can acquire the applicant's digital identity card to help complete the registration.
On Monday, an official from the Sichuan Health Commission told Jiupai News that the rule is designed to help protect the rights of unwed mothers rather than encouraging unmarried people to have babies.
According to the Sichuan Health Commission, the rule is a response to the central government's optimized policy on population growth.
The rule aims to improve population surveys and create a better and more sound childbearing and care system, as well as balanced population growth.
In June 2021, the central government released an optimized population and birth policy, taking into consideration the nation's population structure and aging problem, to build a sound system of encouraging childbirth and reducing costs for childbearing and education.
Last year, the nation saw its first negative population growth in 61 years.
According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics released earlier this month, the nation's population decreased by 850,000 last year, and sits at about 1.41 billion.