GUANGZHOU, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Citizens in south China's Guangdong Province will not be forced to sign a ligation promise if they want to have a second child, said provincial health authorities Friday.
Previously, several couples who were eligible to have a second child claimed they were forced to sign a ligation agreement when they applied for a birth certificate.
Many couples were annoyed by this requirement. "My wife and I found it difficult to accept. There are many choices on contraception. Ligation is not necessary," said a Guangzhou citizen who only gave his surname as Wang.
According to the Guangdong Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations, if a couple of childbearing age gave birth to one child, contraception like intra-uterine devices is suggested to the wife. If they have two or more children, ligation is suggested to either husband or wife.
Guangdong's commission of health and family planning responded to these complaints on Friday. It said "suggested" meant "they were encouraged to do it", and mandatory ligation was not allowed. They would strengthen the training of grass root staff and standardize procedures very soon.
Guangdong relaxed its birth control policy by allowing couples to have a second baby if either parent is an only child in March. Fewer than 150,000 families were eligible, and about 70 percent were willing to have another baby.