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China considers clampdown on illegal adoptions
by Staff Writers Beijing (AFP) Aug 16, 2011


China is considering new rules to crack down on illegal adoptions in a bid to curb child trafficking, a welfare official said Tuesday, amid rising public outrage over child abduction cases.

Proposed measures include designating state orphanages as the only place where people can legally adopt, which will help control the market, and not recognising parents of illegally adopted children as their legal guardians.

Ji Gang, director of the domestic adoption department of the China Centre for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA), an organisation involved in drafting the new rules, said these would be submitted to government this year.

"We are hoping to change legislation so that in the event an abandoned child is discovered, no matter by an organisation or a person, they should immediately report the child to the police," he told AFP.

"The police will then check the child's identity and send them to the orphanages. In this way we feel that the child's rights are more protected."

Other proposed measures include denying household registration permits -- crucial for a Chinese person's education and employment -- to children taken in from dubious sources, in a bid to further deter parents from illegal adoption.

"This will restrict illegal child traffickers as it is precisely because people need children, but do not use legal avenues to get them, that the problem arises," Ji said.

Currently, childless Chinese couples are allowed to adopt children from any source, which has led to a thriving, underground child trafficking market in China. Many sociologists blame the problem on the nation's one-child policy.

Under the policy, aimed at controlling China's world-leading population of more than 1.3 billion, people who live in urban areas are generally only allowed one child, while rural families can have two if the first is a girl.

This has put a premium on baby boys -- traditionally prized in China -- while baby girls are sometimes sold off, abandoned or put up for adoption.

Ji said the proposal would be submitted to the government "by year-end" but stated the measures "will take a while to be implemented" as they have to be debated and approved by the government first.

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“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting loneliness." 

Alex Haley, Author of Roots 





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