China’s Orphanages Profit in Buying-Selling Baby Girls for Foreign Adoption
January 24, 2010
(ChattahBox)— The Los Angeles Times has a disturbing piece on the common practice in China of human trafficking in unwanted female infants, placed with foreign adoptive parents. The practice was rampant in the late 90s, when orphanages in Hunan, received a donation of $3,000 from adoptive parents for each Chinese baby adopted. The state-run orphanages then began paying up to $600 each for baby girls from human trafficking rings. The Chinese government prosecuted an entire family involved in selling babies to orphanages in 2006 and sent them to prison, but the practice continues, just more discreetly with payouts of “finders fees.” And not all of the Chinese infant girls are abandoned, due to the one-child policy in a country where only sons are wanted. Many children are kidnapped and sold for a profit. According to the Chinese government, at least 30,000 to 60,000 children go missing each year and most of them abducted.
The LA Times interviewed Duan Yuelin, recently released from prison for a conviction of human trafficking in babies. Duan’s entire family was involved in the baby selling ring. “They [orphanages] couldn’t get enough babies. The demand kept going up and up, and so did the prices,” said Duan. He admitted selling 85 baby girls to six state-run orphanages from 2001 to 2005. And that was just the tip of the iceberg, because numerous other baby selling rings were in operation, and presumably still are.
And state officials often profit from babies that are taken from parents in violation of the one-child rule. According to the account by the LA Times:
“[L]ocal family planning officials in Guizhou and Hunan provinces sometimes confiscated babies from families that had violated the one-child policy and then collected money by selling the children for foreign adoption.”
After the much-publicized arrest and conviction of the Duan family, China suspended adoptions from Hunan and warned orphanages not to pay for babies, but the warning has largely gone unheeded.