When could a couple apply for children?

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In Jonas's highly-structured, organized community, the Committee of Elders matches spouses by very carefully monitoring and taking into consideration their levels of compatibility. Adults that apply for a spouse can wait months and even years before they receive a compatible spouse. During a couple's first three years together, the Committee of Elders continues to monitor them closely. Once a couple is together for three consecutive years, they can apply for a child. Similar to the Matching of Spouses, the Committee of Elders chooses a newchild that will be compatible with the specific couple that applied for the child. Each couple in the community is allowed to have two children (one boy and one girl). After receiving their first child, a couple can wait as long as they want to apply for another child of the opposite sex. It is also interesting to note that only fifty new children are born each year and enter the community, which is why some couples have to wait years until they receive their child.

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Things work very differently in the community than in our world.  Family units are not quite the same.  In the community, a man and a woman are paired by a committee of elders based on perceived compatibility.  They are watched carefully for three years, at which time they may apply for a child and are given either one boy or one girl.  They can then choose how long they want to wait before they apply for their second child.  If they already have a boy, the second child will be a girl, and vice versa.  It seems quite common for the boy to come first.  After the youngest child grows up and moves out, the family unit is disbanded.

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