babies sold abroad for adoption for £2,000
babies were sold abroad for adoption for up to £2,000 each after they
were forcibly seized by officials enforcing China's one-child policy, an
investigation has claimed.
Peter Foster, The Telegraph 10 May 2011
least 20 children were forcefully removed by family planning officials
in one county in the central province of Hunan and sold on for adoption
to the Netherlands and the United States, according to Caixin Century
Magazine, one of China's leading investigative journals.
story of children being abducted and sold for profit – not the first
of its kind to be uncovered in recent years – has caused a public
furore in China, raising fresh questions about the one-child policy and
the endemic corruption in China's ruling Communist Party.
case generated more than 33,500 comments on China's leading 163.com web
portal, trending as the number one 'hot topic' before the discussion on
the story was apparently taken off-line by web censors.
sold the factories, then they sold the land, and now they turn to
selling people," said one bitter posting, while another added,
"These officials are even worse than human traffickers, because
they sold babies under the legal cover of being public servants."
The lengthy report contained emotive videos, old photographs and
recorded interviews with families from the impoverished county of
Longhui who had been forced to give up their children after being too
poor to pay the 8,000 yuan (£780) fine.
1997, they usually punished us by tearing down our houses for breaching
the one-child policy," Yuan Chaoren, a villager, told the magazine,
"But after 2000, they began to confiscate our children."
Another parent, Yang Libing alleged that his six-month-old daughter had
been removed by officials in January 2005 even though she was his only
child "They mistook my daughter for being illegal when my wife and
I were working in Shenzhen," said Mr Yang, a migrant worker who
like many poor Chinese had left his child in the care of relatives while
he went to earn money.
were furious, the grandmother took her granddaughter to the pigsty to
hide," said Mr Yang's father, recalling the day the child was
seized, adding that the angry cadre still confiscated the
"illegal" child for refusing to pay "social
family tried to 'buy back' the child for 6,000 yuan (£580) the next day
had already been sent to the local welfare house where officials had
received 1,000 yuan (£100) as their cut in the adoption process.
magazine said the illegal 'adoptions' peaked in 2005, but continued for
nearly a decade. Mr Yang, whose marriage was destroyed by the incident,
says he was later offered the chance to have two further children if he
agreed not to make trouble over the enforced 'adoption' of his child.
stories of abuse by family planning officials have also provoked renewed
questions about the one-child policy itself, which since the 1980s has
limited most Chinese to a single child in order to slow the growth of
China's 1.3bn-strong population.
must re-examine fairness of family-planning policy," said one
online commenter, "Who has the power to intervene above law and
debate over the one-child policy was sharpened by China's 2010 census
released last month which showed that the nation's fertility rate had
fallen to just 1.4 per woman of child-bearing age, well below the
"replacement rate" of 2.1 per children per woman.
warn that China's ageing population will slow economic growth, drive up
wages and inflation as the labour-pool shrinks and put growing burdens
on younger workers having to support their parents in old age.
head off a potential demographic crisis were China 'grows old before it
grows rich', a number of policy think tanks in China are suggesting that
it might be time to move towards a 'two-child' policy, however Party
leaders have remained publicly very cautious about the issue.
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