The term “decret child” refers to the exceptionally large cohorts born after the abortion ban of 1966. The paper reviews the demographic antecedents, population policy goals and instruments of the decree, as well as its failure and consequences. Then, in the second part, it traces the social integration of the decree-child generation through formal education to the transition to the world of work. All this is embedded in broad social historical processes such as the change in the social organisation of work during the period of state socialism (the transition from backyard informal work to wage labour embedded in an organisational framework) and the expansion of formal education. The analysis, based on the processing of statistical data and on a second analysis, is essentially a failure story, since the evolution of the collective life of the decree children is also a process of exacerbating the contradictions of the project of economic and social transformation undertaken by state socialism.

Keywords: abortion ban, controlled fertility, socialist modernization, system integration, Romanian state socialism

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