international adoption

International Adoption: Bought a Chinese Baby Lately?

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If you have recently adopted from China, here is further proof that children are being trafficked expressly for the purposes of international adoption:

Five other orphanages opened nearby and were making the same request. By 2000, however, the supply of babies was drying up …

“Rising incomes, changing attitudes toward girls and weaker enforcement of the one-child policy had combined to stem the widespread dumping of baby girls. Besides, pregnant women who were insistent on a boy would determine the gender with ultrasound (illegal, but common just the same) and abort female fetuses …

“But foreign adoptions were in full swing, with more than 5,000 babies heading to the United States in 2000 alone …

“Instead of turning over extra babies to the orphanages in Guangdong, Liang preferred to sell them to traffickers who would pay more to take them to Hunan or adjacent Jianxi province, which also supplied many of the babies adopted in the United States. The Duans say that in addition to the 85 babies she provided them, Liang sold more than 1,000 to orphanages …

“The orphanages disguised the origins of the babies, the Duans said. … “They would fabricate the information. They would say that the baby was found at the Sunday market, near the bridge, on the street. Very few of the stories they put in the babies’ files were true. Only the director of the orphanage knew the babies were really from Guangdong,” Duan’s father said …

“The Chinese government acknowledges that each year 30,000 to 60,000 children go missing, most of them abducted.

“The Los Angeles Times reported in September that local 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. “

As they say, “follow the money.”   Where there is a market demand, little regulation, and the ability to exploit a “source of product” (in this case, mothers who have just given birth),  is it any wonder that this type of unethical activity occurs?

Not only that, but that Western society denies it turns a blind eye to it the same way it did when unwed mothers were herded into maternity facilities to give birth and be stripped of their babies?   Tied down and drugged while their babies were taken away from them?

A culture which condoned this systemic abduction of White children in Canada and the U.S., of course is going to turn a blind eye to Asian children overseas.  North Americans should be ashamed of themselves.

There are other articles as well about the trade in Chinese babies.  This is not an isolated incident. Such as “Chinese crackdown nets thousands of ‘stolen’ children – As many as 60,000 children missing each year” This article states that “The girls are often sold … to agencies that arrange foreign adoptions.”  But this is not the only story — there are also these articles:

Yet adoption agencies across Canada market these babies very legally, as the Canadian government turns a blind eye to human trafficking for adoption purposes.  But I guess, as they say, “The customer is always right” — or at least has the most power in the whole equation.  And the collective financial and political power that backs the adoption industry — an industry fuelled by intense and well-monied market demand for babies and marketed as “a noble deed” — is something that it looks like governments are willing to acquiesce to.


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“Baby Look for Home” and Adoptions from China?

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An new initiative by the Chinese government to try to find the homes of stolen and trafficked children was in the news this week (see “Chinese crackdown nets thousands of ‘stolen’ children“).   The news is about the creation of a website, named “Baby Look For Home.”  You can find it at

As the newpaper article states:

“Many, if not most cases are not formally listed because local police are unwilling or unable to investigate crimes that usually involve crossing provincial borders. As well, many of the parents think police might be complicit in the kidnappings. It is a lucrative business that can net about $4,000 for each boy sold and about $1,000 per girl… The abducted children are mostly boys and are sold to families who want a son. The girls are often sold into marriage or to agencies that arrange foreign adoptions.”

The  sale of children within China has made the news as far back as 2001 (see “China’s Baby Traffickers“) and kidnapping since 2006 (see “Stealing Babies for Adoption“)   Despite this sordid history,China is lauded as having an “ethical” international adoption system that prospective adopters can have confidence in:

“For a family looking to adopt from the most ethical country, China is the best choice.  They are highly regulated and have increasingly good orphanage conditions” (Thome, 2007)

But, given China’s history of not enforcing laws against the sale of children within China, how is any Westerner able to guarantee that the child they are adopting from China is not stolen?  From the above quote, it appears that little girls in China, those same girls that are supposedly abandoned, are selling for up to $1000:   not exactly a price that would be charged if there were a surplus of “product” on the market.

But agencies and orphanages stand to make a lot of money on each transaction, so unfortunately they have a financial incentive to hide this information from “clients.”  (Perhap more “ethical” adoptions ( an oxymoron?) will only occur once  no-one’s paycheque depends upon the transaction being made, where there is no financial incentive to kidnap, abduct, or coerce.)

“Mr. Peng …  said some of the girls were sold to orphanages. They … often end up in the United States or Europe after adoptive parents pay fees to orphanages that average $5,000.” (New York Times, April 4, 2009).

Anyway, I wonder if this new website may be able to serve those who have adopted a child from China and wonder if that child has been abducted?  Many people adopted children from China, trusting in the assurances of baby brokers whom they now realize may have been lying or omitting the truth, and some of them now want to search, to find their child’s natural parents and discover if that child really was abandoned, or whether the child was kidnapped or the parents were coerced to surrender.   Maybe a photo-listing of that child on “Baby Look for Home” may be at least provide a small chance of finding the child’s natural parents and the truth?  I wonder if the Chinese government would cooperate?

(P.S.  If you check out the “Baby Look for Home” site and cannot read Mandarin, you’ll find Google Translate to be a useful tool.)