Increased Aid for Mothers and Children and Changes in the Divorce Laws. July 8, 1944
Original Source: Vedomosti, No. 37 (1944).
The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR has issued an edict on increasing State aid to expectant mothers, mothers of large families and unmarried mothers; the protection of motherhood and childhood; and institution of the honorary title of Mother Heroine, the Order of Glory of Motherhood and the Motherhood Medal.
The welfare of children and mothers and the consolidation of the family has always been one of the major tasks of the Soviet State. Protecting the interests of mother and child, the State extends substantial material aid to expectant mothers and mothers for the maintenance and upbringing of children. During the war and after the war, when considerable material difficulties exist for many families, State aid must necessarily be extended.
In order to increase material aid to expectant mothers, mothers of large families and unmarried mothers and to encourage large families and increase the protection of mother and child, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics resolves:
First, to increase State aid to mothers of large families and unmarried mothers.
1. To establish that State allowances are to be granted to mothers of large families (whether the husband is living or not) on the birth of the third child and of each subsequent child, instead of the existing procedure of granting State allowances to mothers of six children on the birth of the seventh and of each subsequent child.
2. Payment of State allowances to mothers of large families is to be effected as follows: On the birth of the third child to a mother with two children, a single grant of 400 rubles. On the birth of a fourth child to a mother with three children, a single grant of 1, 300 rubles and a monthly allowance of 80 rubles, On the birth of a fifth child to a mother with four children, a single grant of 1, 700 rubles and a monthly allowance of 120 rubles. On the birth of a sixth child to a mother with five children, a single grant of 2,000 rubles and a monthly allowance of 140 rubles. On the birth of a seventh child to a mother with six children, a single grant of 2, 500 rubles and a monthly allowance of 200 rubles. On the birth of a ninth child to a mother of eight children, a single grant of 3, 500 rubles and a monthly allowance of 250 rubles. On the birth of a tenth child to a mother with nine children, a single grant of 3,500 rubles and a monthly allowance of 300 rubles.
Monthly allowances to mothers of large families are to be paid beginning with the second year of the child’s life and continuing until the child reaches the age of five.
Mothers with families of three, four, five or six children at the date of issue of the present Edict will receive allowances under the present Article for every child born after the publication of the present Edict.
Mothers with families of seven or more children at the date of issue of the present Edict retain the right to receive large family allowances according to the procedure and in the amounts set forth in the decision of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR of June 27, 1936, namely, for the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth child, 2,000 rubles each annually for five years from the day of the child’s birth, and for each subsequent child-5,000 rubles in a single grant and 3, 000 rubles each annually for four years, beginning with the child’s second year. For every child born after the publication of the present Edict, allowances will be paid in accordance with and in the amounts set forth in the present Article of the Edict.
In determining State allowances for large families, children killed or missing on the fronts of the Patriotic War are to be included.
3. To establish allowances for unmarried mothers for the maintenance and upbringing of children born after the publication of the present Edict in the following amounts: 100 rubles monthly for one child, 150 rubles for two children and 200 rubles for three or more children.
State allowances to unmarried mothers are paid until the children attain the age of 12.
Unmarried mothers with three or more children are entitled to allowances issued in accordance with Paragraph 2 of the present Article, in addition to the allowances provided for under the present Articles.
Upon her marriage an unmarried mother retains the right to the allowances provided for under the present Articles.
The mother who received alimony for children born prior to the publication of the present Edict retains the right to receive alimony until the children come of age, but is not entitled to receive the allowance provided for under the present Article.
Mothers of children born in 1944, prior to the publication of the present Edict, who have not been receiving alimony are entitled to the allowance provided for under the present Article.
4. If an unmarried mother wishes to place her child in an institution for children, said institution is obligated to accept the child, who will be maintained and brought up fully at the expense of the State.
The mother of the child has a right to reclaim it from the institution and to bring it up herself if she so desires.
While the child is in the institution, no State allowance is to be paid.
5. To increase single grants paid from the social insurance funds and the mutual aid funds of producers’ cooperatives, for newborn infants, from 45 to 120 rubles, facilities to be ‘extended for the purchase by the mother of layettes for this amount.
Second, to increase the privileges for expectant mothers and mothers, and on measures for extending the network of institutions for the protection of mother and child.
6. To increase maternity leaves for women factory workers and office employees from 63 to 77 calendar days (35 days before and 42 days after childbirth), with payment during this period of the State allowance in the amounts fixed heretofore. In the event of an abnormal birth or the birth of twins, post-natal leave is to be extended to 56 calendar days.
Managers of enterprises and institutions must grant expectant mothers annual vacations, which must be timed to precede or follow maternity leave.
7. After four months’ pregnancy, women are not to be given overtime work at enterprises and institutions, and women with infants are to be exempted from night work throughout the period of nursing.
8. To double additional food rations for expectant mothers beginning with the sixth month of pregnancy and for nursing mothers during four months of nursing.
9. Managers of enterprises and institutions must render aid to expectant mothers and nursing mothers by issuing additional food products from auxiliary farms.
10. To reduce by 50 per cent fees at kindergartens and nurseries for the accommodation of children of parents with three children and with monthly earnings up to 400 rubles, with four children and with monthly earnings up to 600 rubles, with five or more children regardless of earnings.
11. To instruct the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR:
(a) To approve the plan for the organization in Republics and Regions of additional mother and child centers, and also of special rest homes for needy unmarried expectant mothers, as well as for nursing mothers in ailing health. Inmates of such rest homes are to perform light tasks compatible with the state of their health.
(b) To approve the plan for the extension of the network of children’s institutions under the People Is Commissariats: and -.other departments; to provide accommodations for all children in need of such service, at the same time to provide for the extension of the network of medical consultation centers for children, and of milk kitchens, of nurseries for infants and evening accommodations at kindergartens and maternity institutions in areas liberated from the German invaders.
(c) To provide for the obligatory organization at enterprises and institutions where women are employed in large numbers, of nurseries, kindergartens and special rest rooms for nursing mothers.
(d) To make it obligatory for the People’s Commissariats in their plans for industrial construction to provide for the building of children’s institutions (nurseries, kindergartens, mother and child rooms) with accommodations sufficient for all mothers employed at the given enterprise and in need of such services.
To approve measures for the considerable extension of the output of clothing and footwear for children, toilet accessories for children, and the like, both for children’s institutions and for sale to the general public, as well as for the extension of the chain of workshops producing children’s clothing and shops catering to mother and child.
Third, on the institution of a Motherhood Medal and the Order of Glory of Motherhood; on the establishment of the honorary title Mother Heroine.
12. To institute a Motherhood Medal, First and Second Class, for award to mothers who have given birth to and reared six and five children respectively.
13. To institute the Order of Glory of Motherhood, First, Second and Third Class, for award to mothers who have given birth to and reared nine, eight, and seven children respectively.
14. To establish that the title of Mother Heroine is to be conferred upon mothers who have given birth to and reared 10 children, this award being accompanied by the presentation of the Order of Mother Heroine and a scroll from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR
15. The award of the Order of Glory of Motherhood and the Motherhood Medal, as well as the Mother Heroine title, comes into effect when the last child born reaches the age of one year, if the remaining children from the same mother are living.
Children killed or reported missing on fronts of the Patriotic War are to be included when these awards are made to mothers.
Fourth, on the tax on single men and women and citizens with small families.
16. In modification of the Edict of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of November 21, 1941 “On the tax on single men and women and childless citizens of the USSR 11 tax will henceforth be levied upon citizens who have no children and on citizens who have one or two children: for men over 20 and up to 50 years of age and for women over 20 and up to 45.
17. The tax is to be levied in the following amounts:
(a) Citizens paying income tax will be taxed to the extent of six per cent of their income in the absence of children, one per cent if they have one child and one-half per cent if they have two children.
(b) Collective farmers, individual farmers and other citizens of households subject to the agricultural tax will be taxed to the extent of 150 rubles annually in the absence of children, 50 rubles annually if they have one child and 25 rubles annually if they have two children.
(c) Other citizens having no children will be taxed 90 rubles annually, those with one child 30 rubles annually and those with two children 15 rubles annually.
18. To exempt from the tax:
(a) Servicemen of the rank and file, sergeants and petty officers.
(b) Army and Navy officers of units and organizations on active service.
(c) Wives of servicemen specified in points (a) and (b) of the present article.
(d) Women receiving allowances or pensions from the State for the upkeep of children.
(e) Citizens whose children have been killed or reported missing on fronts of the Patriotic War.
(f) Men and women students of secondary and higher schools up to 25 years of age.
(g) Invalids belonging to the first and second categories of invalidity.
Fifth, on changes in laws on marriage, family and guardianship.
19. To establish that rights and obligations of husband and wife provided for under the Code of Laws of the Union Republics on marriage and family, re guardianship, accrue from legally registered marriages only.
Persons who have been married de facto prior to publication of the present Edict may legalize their relations by registering the marriage and stating the actual period of their conjugal life.
20 To abolish the existing right of a mother to appeal to the court for the purpose of establishing fatherhood and claiming alimony for the upkeep of a child from a man to whom she is not legally married.
21. To establish that upon the registration of the birth of a child whose mother is not legally married, the child is given the mother’s surname and any patronymic the mother might indicate.
22. The registration on passports of marriages, indicating surnames, names and patronymics and year of birth of the other party to a marriage, as well as the place and time of registration of marriage is obligatory.
23. To establish that divorces are to be effected publicly through the courts. At the request of husband or wife a divorce in certain cases on the decision of the court may be heard in camera.
24. The following procedure is to be followed when petitioning for dissolution of marriage.
(a) A petition for the dissolution of a marriage is to be submitted to the People’s Court, giving reasons for the divorce as well as the full name, date of birth and address of the other party to the marriage; when filing the petition for divorce, the sum of 100 rubles is to be paid.
(b) The court summons the party against whom the petition has been filed, to acquaint him or her with the contents of the petition, to ascertain the motives for the divorce, as well as to establish witnesses to be summoned during the court proceedings.
(c) Announcement of the filing of a petition for divorce is to be published in the local newspaper at the expense of the party filing the petition.
25. The People’s Court is obliged to establish the motives for the filing of a petition for the dissolution of a marriage, and to take steps to reconcile the parties, for which purpose both parties must be summoned, and in case of necessity witnesses as well.
In the event of failure by the People’s Court to reconcile the parties, the petitioner has the right to file a petition for the dissolution of the marriage with the higher court.
To establish that a decision regarding the dissolution of a age may be passed by the Regional and city courts or the Supreme Court of the Union or Autonomous Republic.
26. The Regional, territorial and city courts or the Supreme Court of the Union or Autonomous Republic which decide that the marriage should be annulled, must:
(a) Settle the question of the custody of the children between the parents and determine which of the parents is to defray expenses for the maintenance of the children and to what extent.
(b) Establish a procedure for the division of property, whether in kind or in respective proportions between the parties.
(c) Restore to each of the divorced parties their original surnames if they so desire.
27. On the basis of the court decision, the civil registry office draws up the certificate of divorce, makes a corresponding entry in the passports of both parties and charges one or both parties, at the decision of the court, a sum ranging from 500 to 2, 000 rubles.
28. To instruct the Supreme Soviets of the Union Republics to make, in accordance with the present Edict, the necessary changes in the legislation of the Union Republics.
29. To instruct the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR to draw up statutes covering the procedure for the payment of allowances to expectant mothers, mothers of large families and unmarried mothers in accordance with the present Edict.
30. To instruct the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR to adopt measures regulating the procedure of registration of marriages, births, etc., providing for the introduction of a solemn procedure for which suitable premises properly furnished are to be set aside, and for the issue to citizens of certificates duly drawn up.
31. In accordance with criminal legislation in force, the State prosecuting organs are to prosecute those guilty of performing illegal abortions, of insulting and humiliating the dignity of mothers and of refusing to pay alimony for the upkeep of children. M. Kalinin, Chairman of the Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR
A. Gorkyn, Secretary of Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR
Source: The American Review on the Soviet Union. Vol. VI, No. 1 (November 1944), pp. 69-76.