What was the rule about the number of children in each family in The Giver?
The rule about the number of children allowed in each family unit is very clear. Each unit may have only two children, one male and one female (Chapter 1).
When the parents in a family unit feel that they are ready, they make an application to the Committee for a child. Their application is carefully considered a match is made, pairing a specific Newchild born that year with each family whose application has been approved. The Newchildren are given to their assigned families at the December ceremonies; some of them are still infants, while those who are born earlier in the year may actually be walking. Each Newchild already has a name when he or she is given to its assigned family unit.
Father had to make a special request to bring Gabriel home for extra nurturing, and each family member, even Lily, had to sign a contract saying that he or she would not get attached to the Newchild, and would willingly relinquish him when the time allotted for extra nurturing was up. There is no way that Jonas' family would be able to keep Gabriel, because they already had two children in their unit.