Though China maintains its one-child-only policy in an effort to halt population growth, rural families were allowed to have two, if the first child was a girl. But a third child? Then the poor farmers were required to pay a $3,000 fee, a charge completely out of reach for them. If you could not pay, you were forced to turn over the baby, which was then sold for $3,000, with the local orphanage and the corrupt local authorities splitting the fee.
Here's a snippet of the story you'll find here:
By Hyo-Jin Paik
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
BEIJING, China– An investigation by a Chinese newspaper found that about 80 baby girls in southern China’s Guizhou Province have been sold to childless families in the U.S. and Europe for $3,000 each. These baby girls were “confiscated” from families when the parents could not pay the $3,000 fine for violating China’s Family Planning Policy.
Chinese families in rural villages, unlike those living in urban areas, are allowed to have a second child to continue the family name and to help out with the farm if the first child is not a son. However, if the rural families have more than two children, they face a fine of $3,000, which is several times a farmer’s annual income. Accordingly, this is an unpopular policy among rural residents, and families in Guizhou Province who could not pay the fine had to hand over their babies to the local authorities.
Abandoned babies in China can be registered for adoption, but the investigation alleged that the local authorities confiscated the babies and then forged documents by labeling the babies as “orphans.” The adoption fee of $3,000 per baby was split between the local authorities and the orphanages. This type of foreign adoption program has been referred to as “Baby Economy,” and the local orphanages made huge profits.
This is not the first time child trafficking from China (or India)has been uncovered. We've previously written about the international trade in babies, all documented and published in magazines such as Foreign Policy and Mother Jones--from the poor nations of the world, such as Guatemala, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Russia, Kazhakstan and others. Because the baby economy is a cash cow for poor nations and demand is high, unscrupulous individuals will find a way to provide the goods--even when there are no babies available through honest means. Children are kidnapped, mothers are tricked into giving up their babies for what they think is a temporary time, papers are forged and children are stolen. Why? Because people are willing to not look deeply into where the children come from, or if they are indeed orphans.
What creates this market? People who believe that they are entitled to a child, simply because they can afford one, when nature does not provide. The comments of a prospective adoptive parent to the previous post (Banned by Adoptionvoices.com!) calling FirstMotherForum anti-adoption led me to give this answer to her and the others like her. We repeat, as we do so often here, that we understand that adoptions must happen in some circumstances. But today the demand for babies has irrevocably skewed the system towards adoption at any cost--to the mother, to the child.
While treatments such as DES years ago led to infertility among the children whose mothers took the hormone, a great deal of the pressure simply comes from a culture where it is seen as normal to wait to have children after thirty-five, after a woman's ability to conceive has dropped precipitously.
Sometimes adoptions are indeed necessary, but the demand for fresh, healthy infants today has led to the wholesale trafficking of children worldwide. If speaking out against that makes us anti-adoption, so be it. If speaking hard truths on sites promoting adoptions gets us banned, so be it. We are far too aware of the emotional fallout for both natural mothers and the children to support adoption as the common solution it is today for people wanting a child.
Yes, it is sad when one cannot have a child, but that does not entitle you to someone else's.
I write this today knowing that my voice is one of a few crying in the wilderness, that it will be heard by only a few, that it will offend some, and in the larger picture, our voices will be drowned out by the group-think of a generation. Sadly, the baby economy is completely integrated into society today, and I do not have the force of government behind me to change policy. And it will take a sea-change to alter attitudes.
But I will go on speaking and writing this until my last breath. --lorraine
PS: In an irony of magnitude, when I edited this post...up popped an ad for Spence-Chapin:
Loving Families Needed. Domestic & Intl programs.
Loving families needed? to fill the coffers of Spence-Chapin.