Doctors at the University Hospital in Brno are celebrating an unprecedented success. In mid-August, they delivered a healthy baby girl 117 days after her mother was declared brain dead after suffering a brain haemorrhage. It is the longest artificially sustained pregnancy in a brain-dead mother ever recorded in medical history.
Czech society has changed dramatically since 1989, and not only
politically. Czechs are living longer and having fewer children, but while
the population is aging it is not declining, thanks to an influx of
immigrants. These are among some of the more striking findings of the Czech
At the time of the Velvet Revolution, the life expectancy for a Czech man was 68, eight years lower than today at 76. In the last year of Communism, a Czech woman could expect to live to 75.5, compared to 82 now.
Seniors now account for nearly 20 percent of the population, up from 13 percent in 1989. Meanwhile, children under the age of 15 make up 16 percent of the population, down from 22 percent three decades ago.
The Czech Republic experienced a baby boom around 2008, when the so-called Husák's children generation of the 1970s, begang having children of their own. Even so, the annual birth rate reached a maximum of 120,000. In recent years, it has been around 114,000.
At the time of the Velvet Revolution, there were 3.4 foreigners for every 1,000 Czechs compared to 53 today. Thirty years ago, one in 294 residents were born abroad, compared to one in 19 today.
An amendment to the child protection law, currently being prepared by the
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, is counting on increasing the
monthly state allowance for children in child homes by about a quarter to
CZK 28,200 in 2020, the Czech News Agency reported on Sunday.
Currently there are 57 such homes in the Czech Republic with 815 spots for children, but childcare management has long been complaining about the lack of funding.
Because the number of children in child homes is decreasing, the ministry does not expect this will lead to increased expenses. Instead, the number of spaces at such facilities will be lowered and the length at which children stay there decreased.
For the past seven years, Denisa Haubertová Šedivá has been living in Brussels with her husband, Czech ambassador to NATO Jiří Šedivý, and their two children. While feeling a bit homesick, she decided to write an alphabet book that would work as a guide to Czech life and culture, covering all sorts of topics from fairy tale characters and nursery rhymes to history, art and design. The book is intended primarily for children, but with its beautiful graphic design and charming, black and white illustrations, it really engages readers of all ages.
June is the month of weddings and after years of gradual decline, it seems matrimony is again on the increase in the Czech Republic. Last year, over 54,000 couples tied the knot, which is the highest figure since 2007. Czech couples are also increasingly giving preference to church weddings and more intimate wedding ceremonies over civil marriages.
There has been a steady drop in the number of foster families, the Ministry
of Labor and Social Affairs said on Sunday.
Last year only 146 families offered to care for a foster child – the fewest since 2015, when independent statistics began being compiled.
The ministry says a burdensome bureaucracy is partly to blame. Children are also stay longer with foster care families than planned, which could deter new prospects.
An increasing number of Czech couples who cannot have a child of their own are seeking the help of surrogate mothers. However, there is currently no legislation in the Czech Republic recognising surrogacy. Experts are warning that the arrangements surrounding this controversial method of assisted reproduction are void and unenforceable.
Over six thousand children in the Czech Republic are currently threatened with a distraint order over unpaid debts, while tens of thousands of young people have debts that they have carried over from their childhood. A new amendment to the Civil Code, set to be debated in the lower house on Monday, aims to prevent minors from falling into debt in the future.
A group of Czech mothers known as the “breastfeeding guerrillas” – Kojící guerila – held a “feed-in” shortly before lunchtime on Monday at local branches of Austria’s Raiffeisen bank. The protest was called over a specific incident at a Prague branch, but is part of a long-running campaign to change public attitudes.
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