Local government denies sterilization for hukou

Updated: 2014-05-22 08:28

By Wang Qingyun (China Daily)

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Officials in Jiubao, a town in Ruijin, Jiangxi province, denied that it requires its female residents to undergo sterilization surgery before a newborn baby is given hukou (household registration).

The denial came after a woman said she filed an application for administrative reconsideration with the Ruijin government because the police in Jiubao refused to issue hukou for her son, who was born there in 2011, because she didn't undergo tubal ligation surgery, a kind of sterilization in which a woman's fallopian tubes are clamped or severed to prevent future pregnancy.

The 30-year-old woman, surnamed Song, said the boy still has not been given hukou.

"I gave birth to my son was in line with the family planning policy. I got the permit from Jiubao's office of family planning in advance," she said. "Both me and my husband have rural hukou, and our first child is a girl."

Under Jiangxi regulations, couples who are farmers and who have only a daughter can have another child.

"Family planning officials in the village asked me to have ligation surgery shortly after I gave birth," Song said, adding that an official told her she must get the surgery within 15 days; otherwise they would force her to do it. If she didn't comply, her son may not get hukou, Song said she was told.

"They asked me to get the surgery almost every time we met. It was so disturbing that I moved to Xiamen in Fujian province in February last year," she said. "I don't want to undergo the surgery because I am afraid of pain, and my skin is allergic."

Song said police in Jiubao told her she must get a certificate of surgery before they would issue the boy's hukou.

"My son needs hukou to be admitted at schools. Without it, he doesn't even have citizenship," she said.

Song said she called the family planning offices of the town and the city and got the same reply.

But an officer at the Jiubao police station who asked to be identified only by his surname, Liu, said in a telephone interview that the police do not require surgery as a precondition for issuing hukou.

"Surgery is none of our business. We will issue hukou for children as long as they were born in compliance with the family planning policy," Liu said.

A Jiubao official who declined to be identified also said the county doesn't tie hukou to surgery.

"We are implementing the national and provincial laws strictly, encouraging couples who already gave birth to do the sterilization surgery," the official said.

The Population and Family Planning Law says couples of child-bearing age should adopt contraceptive measures - as does Jiangxi province.

But neither the regulations on hukou nor the Population and Family Planning Law require that a woman must undergo tubal ligation surgery for a child to get hukou, said Huang Yizhi, a lawyer who helped Song write and mail the application of administrative reconsideration.

Contact the writer at wangqingyun@chinadaily.com.cn