• Undocumented citizens in China are excluded from acquiring social services.

Undocumented citizens in China are excluded from acquiring social services. (Photo : Flickr)

China's One Child Policy has come under scrutiny once again after reports of a family of nine, seven offspring to one couple, in Beijing is being fined 700,000 yuan ($110,180).

The couple, who live in Beijing's Tongzhou District, had their first child in 1984. By 2004, the couple, together with their three sons and four daughters, have been living in poverty.

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The family has only been able to provide for the first three children with a hukou, the household registration certificate in China, because the family has failed to pay the social maintenance fee that comes with violating the One Child Policy.

The family has to pay almost 700,000 yuan for the four children who still do not have a hukou. The amount was based on the annual income of rural residents in 2012 plus an overdue surcharge, according to a document released by the local population and family planning commission, as reported by the Beijing News.

The hukou is the official record that identifies a person as a citizen of the Chinese mainland. It allows its holder to avail of social services like free education and health care.

The family's third child, Zhang Zelong, said in July in a statement to the Global Times that four of the seven children dropped out of school after nine years of compulsory education because they were only able to acquire their hukou afterward. He said that the two youngest children who are still in primary school will likely have to drop out in the future.

"Without a good education, I can only find odd jobs in small factories," said Zhang.

Hospitals also refuse to treat Zhang's undocumented siblings. His sister had to get divorced because, at the time, she did not have her hukou and could not get her marriage certificate, putting her children in the same position as her.

"My sister got divorced because of this and now she is suffering from depression," said Zhang.

"It's quite rare to see six 'black' kids in one family, the parents should be held responsible for that," said Professor Hou Dongmin from Renmin University.

A local official also told the Beijing News that the family has repeatedly been informed of the repercussions of having that many children, with local authorities having turned a blind eye to the family.