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.
The number of childless women in the Czech Republic continues to increase. While in the 1970s and 80s, only five to seven percent of women living in then communist Czechoslovakia didn’t have children, the Czech Statistics Office projects that every sixth woman who is now in her thirties will remain childless.
An increasing number of Czech children suffer from speech impediments,
according to data released by the Institute of Health Information and
Statistics. Between the years 2010 and 2017 their number increased by over
26,000, reaching around 156,800 last year.
The number of school-children who require speech-therapy is increasing as well. Last year, the Ministry of Education registered over 7,200 children with speech problems, which is around three times more than ten years ago.
In celebration of “National Marriage Week”, the Christian Democrats have organised a contest inviting married couples to post captioned photos of themselves on the party’s Facebook page. First prize is dinner with party chairman Pavel Bělobrádek. Over a third of contestants are gay or lesbian couples, who hope to convince the party to reverse its opposition to same-sex marriage.
After months of debate, the coalition government has agreed in principle to provide free school lunches to children from the “neediest” families enrolled in nursery and primary. But the ANO and Social Democrat parties have yet to agree which families are “poor” enough to qualify, or when to implement the change.
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