‘Illegal’ babies abducted by Chinese population control
Thu May 26 12:18 PM EST
26, 2011 (Pop.org) - As Beijing continues to vigorously pursue its
infamous one-child policy, PRI has gathered evidence showing that
Chinese villagers who cannot afford to pay these fines have their
“illegal” children abducted and sold by Chinese population control
is well known that those who violate the one-child policy have sometimes
been subjected to coerced abortions or, if they have already given
birth, have been forced to pay punitive fines and have been sterilized.
For example, the birth control regulations posted in one town warned
that those who violate the one-child policy shall be contracepted or
the direction of the birth control bureaucracy and the technical
personnel (assigned thereto), those married women of childbearing age
who have already had one child shall be given an IUD; those couples that
have already had a second or higher order child shall be sterilized.
sterilization directive was confirmed in conversation with villagers.
One woman, a Chinese minority, told us that the consequence of having a
third child would be that the government “would take measures to
fines now imposed on violators of the one-child policy are, by any
standards, enormous. In one Chinese county, declared by the UNFPA to be
a “Model Birth Control County,” we photographed a billboard of birth
control regulations that warned:
who illegally reproduce … will be assessed, when their illegal
behavior is discovered, a “social compensation fee” based on a unit
calculated from a year’s salary for urban dwellers and based on a
year’s income after expenses for rural dwellers.
who illegally give birth to one child will be assessed a fine 3 to 5
times their annual income; those who illegally give birth to a second
child will be assessed a fine from 5 to 7 times their annual income;
those who illegally give birth to a third child will be assessed a fine
from 7 to 9 times their annual income; those who give birth to 4 or more
illegal children will be assessed a fine extrapolated from the above
schedule of multiples. For those who illegally take in a child, have an
extramarital birth, or have an out of wedlock birth, both parties
involved will be assessed a “social compensation fee” according to
the above schedule of (income) multiples.
these fines were actually imposed was clear from our discussions with
ordinary Chinese. We were told again and again that violators are fined
“tens of thousands of renminbi,” or “20,000 or 30,000 renminbi.”
These are enormous sums of money by Chinese standards. One woman
reported that she and her husband had been forced to take out a 10-year
loan to pay the 25,000 renminbi fine that had been assessed for each of
her two illegal daughters. To pay off this “child mortgage,” her
husband had been forced to go to work in the city.
we asked what would happen if a couple couldn’t afford to pay the
fine, we were told that offenders would be visited by population control
officials who would “seal off” their homes, and possibly even
destroy them, as punishment for non-payment.
these punishments pale in comparison with reports of child abduction. In
Lipu county, another UNFPA Model Birth Control County, located in
northern Guangxi province, we were told by a village official that “At
the present time, if you don’t pay the fine, they come and abduct the
baby you just gave birth to and give it to someone else.”
practice of child abduction has recently been confirmed by the Chinese
government. According to a report in the Caixin Century magazine,
authorities in the southern Chinese province of Hunan have begun
investigating a report that population control officials had seized at
least 16 babies born in violation of strict family planning rules, sent
them to state-run orphanages, and then sold them abroad for adoption.
“Before 1997, they usually punished us by tearing down our houses for
breaching the one-child policy, but after 2000 they began to confiscate
our children,” the magazine quoted villager Yuan Chaoren as saying.
children, reportedly from Longhui county near Hunan province’s
Shaoyang city, had been abducted by who accused their parents of
breaching the one-child policy or illegally adopting children. The local
family planning office then sent the children to local orphanages, which
listed them as being available for adoption, the report said, adding the
office could get 1,000 renminbi or more for each child. The orphanages
in turn receive $3,000 to $5,000 for each child adopted overseas, money
that is paid by the adoptive parents. The magazine reported that at
least one migrant worker said she had found her daughter had been
adopted abroad and was now living in the United States.
is worth noting that these two reports come from the same general area
of China and occurred in neighboring provinces. Lipu county, where we
heard about the practice of abducting and selling “illegal”
children, is located in northern Guangxi province not far from the Hunan
border, while Shaoyang is located near the southern border of Hunan not
far from the Guangxi border.
officials deny any involvement in child trafficking. But it is well
known that the so-called “job responsibility system” requires them
to rigorously enforce the one-child policy, and that their success (or
failure) in this area will determine future promotions (or demotions).
Abducting and selling an “illegal” baby or child would not only
enable an official to eliminate a potential black mark on his record, it
would allow him to make a profit at the same time. In this way the
one-child policy, through its system of perverse and inhumane rewards
and punishment, encourages officials to violate the fundamental right of
parents to decide for themselves the number and spacing of their
trafficking has occurred in other countries that offer children for
adoption, most notably in Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam, where the abuses
are so rampant that the U.S. has put a moratorium on adoptions. It may
be time to consider a similar moratorium on adoptions from China.
with permission from the Population
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