Mother sues to reverse denial of child's hukou

Updated: 2014-06-12 07:57

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou and Hou Liqiang in Beijing (China Daily)

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A single mother has sued a local public security department because authorities have refused to provide hukou, or household registration, for her out-of-wedlock child in Dongguan, Guangdong province.

The 39-year-old mother, surnamed Fang, is demanding that the Dongcheng district branch of the Dongguan bureau of public security immediately allow her child to register hukou under the law.

Fang went to court, with the help of local public welfare organizations, on Tuesday.

"I have to register hukou for my child because my child needs hukou to go to school next year," said the mother, adding that she has been trying to get hukou for her child since she gave birth in 2009.

But the public security bureau, acting within local family planning regulations, said Fang would have to show her marriage certificate, family planning certificates and related documents as well as information on her child's father to register her child's hukou.

Born without a family planning certificate, Fang's child is illegitimate, according to local family planning regulations and rules.

Fang said that she was told by the local neighborhood committee that to apply for a family planning certificate, she had to pay a fine, or so-called social child support payment, of more than 100,000 yuan ($16,000) and to get an intrauterine birth-control device.

"The large social child support payment would be a big burden for me," Fang told local media.

"I have given birth to only one child, and the child should have the right to register hukou," said Fang.

Fang asked the court to rule that the public security department is violating laws and regulations when it ties hukou to family planning certificates.

The Dongcheng district branch of the Dongguan city bureau of public security refused to comment on the case on Wednesday.

Fang fell in love with her boyfriend in Dongguan, and she found out she was pregnant after they separated in 2008.

Fang delivered her child according to doctors' suggestions, Fang said.

"I have not seen my child's father after we separated," she added.

Under China's Nationality Law and regulations and rules on hukou, household registration departments should allow children to register their hukou unconditionally. But local governments often tie the registration of hukou with family planning certificates.

In April, 32 lawyers nationwide signed a petition to the country's legislative organs and the State Council that asked them to stop the practice.

"Fang has the right to register hukou for her child," said Li Zhenmin, a lawyer from Guangdong Anguo Law Firm. "Local regulations and rules should not run counter to the national and provincial laws and regulations."

Liu Honghui, a lawyer from Beijing-based Yingke Law Firm, said local government should pay attention to provide better service to residents while improving management.

"If the parent has violated any family planning policies and regulations, the parent should be punished, but the child is innocent," he said.

"Local governments should not use the child's hukou to force the mother to pay fines," he added.

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