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Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine 42(4): 269-276. July-August 1975.The way in which family planning associations have affected policy and the development of government programs and the way government family planning programs have affected private family planning associations is examined. The typical evolution of voluntary family planning association in countries throughout the world is: 1) an initial interest in the unhealthy effects of excess childbearing by physicians and prominent women; 2) development of a local family planning association; 3) provision of family planning services to women of average means; 4) f avorable public response; 5) support and funding provided by internation al organizations; and 6) government entrance onto the family planning scene. Generally, voluntary family planning groups encourage a trend whose time has already come through various changes in the national way of life. Family planning associations flourish with government involvement because there is need for the expertise developed by the voluntary associations. Private organizations are especially active in training, education, youth work, research, and innovation. Voluntary groups can monitor the quality of government family planning programs.