province probes sale of "illegal children"
May 10 2011
(Reuters) - A southern Chinese province has begun investigating a report
that officials had seized at least 16 babies born in violation of strict
family planning rules, sent them to welfare centers and then sold them
abroad for adoption.
children in Longhui county near Hunan province's Shaoyang city had been
taken away by officials since 2005 after their parents were accused of
breaching the one-child policy or illegally adopting children, the
Caixin Century magazine reported.
local family planning office then sent the children to local welfare
centers, which listed them as being available for adoption, the report
said, adding the office could get 1,000 yuan ($154) or more for each
of the seized children were the sole children of couples who were often
away working in the cities, the magazine added.
least one migrant worker said she had found her daughter had been
adopted abroad and was now living in the United States, it said. The
welfare centers could receive as much as $3,000 for each child placed in
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," it quoted villager Yuan Chaoren as saying.
Shaoyang government is now investigating the case, the popular tabloid
the Global Times reported on Tuesday, though it quoted one official as
denying any involvement in child trafficking.
we found illegal birth children, we fined the parents in accordance with
the law," the anonymous official told the newspaper, without
officials, whose promotion is closely linked to the effectiveness of
measures to stop people from having more babies, have often been
criticized for using violence or coercion to enforce tough family
Guangcheng, a blind legal activist, drew international attention when he
took on officials over forced abortions in his home province of Shandong
and was jailed. He was released in September, more than four years after
being convicted of damaging property and disrupting traffic in a
protest, and has been held under virtual house arrest in his village
a population expected to peak at 1.65 billion in 2033, China has been
cautious about dropping its one-child policy that was implemented to
spare the country the pressures of feeding and clothing hundreds of
millions of additional people.
already allows a number of exceptions to the policy, and some experts
have called for a greater relaxation to tackle the problem of a
population aging before it can first become rich.
= 6.494 yuan)
by Sally Huang and Ben Blanchard Editing by Ken Wills and Sanjeev
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