We Need More Babies!

BONNY HAKANSSON FOR TIME

FAMILY SUPPORT: Sweden encourages couples like the Blandfords to procreate

When Ester Blandford was born, 18 months ago, the Swedish state did all it could to ease her way into the world — and encourage her parents to have even more kids. Her mother, Therese, 29, a children's librarian in the small southern town of Nyhamnsläge, took 15 months off work, most of it at 80% pay, to care for the baby, her first child. She now works part-time. Ester's dad, Christian, also 29, a physical therapist, stays home one day a week to help out. He too gets 80% pay from the state for the day spent with his daughter....

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