Chinese adoption scare: stolen babies

We know a guy who used to run an adoption agency in China but quit doing it because it was just too sketchy for him to handle. The NYT reports on adoptions from China and baby trafficking: For Adoptive Parents, Questions Without Answers

“If the government is utterly corrupt, and you have to take an orphanage a donation in hundred-dollar bills, why would you think the program was ethical? … Now you have to give $5,000 as an orphanage fee in China. Multiply that by how many thousand adoptions. Tens of millions of dollars have flowed out of this country to get kids, and you have no accounting for it.”

UPDATE: In a response to the above article, Dr. Jane Aronson of Worldwide Orphans Foundation prescribes some global context:

“Why did we create such a marvelous bureaucracy to improve international adoption practices and not pour some of that money into the welfare of mothers in these countries? It seems immoral to me to accredit US adoption agencies and to not empower women from sending countries to make international adoption a well-thought out choice for a birth mother no matter what her economic status. We do this for all domestic adoptions in the US. If we educated women abroad and showed some respect for their process, we might find that some women would still opt for their children to be adopted…even changing some attitudes about domestic adoption in very poor nations.”
[Link: The Trouble With International Adoption Is not Trafficking: It’s the Global Orphan Crisis]

For more on adopting from China:

3 thoughts on “Chinese adoption scare: stolen babies”

  1. It’s sad but not unexpected story. Those of us who have lived in China for a few years learn to question the authenticity of everything even the people. We learn not to accept anything on face value or because someone or a document says so. We know official corruption in China has no limits or boundaries. It will appear anywhere there’s the opportunity to make money.

    However, these poor parents who have taken on raising adopted Chinese Children will probably be forever riddled with doubts and anxieties. We know most of our countrymen are naive and don’t take the trouble to find out what is really going on in the world.

    China is not the only place where abductions are going on. Over the past few years many children born in Haiti were stolen from their parents during the earthquake and brought to America not by corrupt officials but American Christian adoption agencies. Children are abducted from India, Pakistan, Burma and Bangladesh as well.

  2. If you’d like to know what the real issue is, read this:

    Now, if only someone at the NYT would write a story about all the dirty American/Canadian/European men who travel to Thailand to participate in the child sex trade perpetrated there! I’d wager that the numbers of children abducted and sold around the world for this purpose far outweighs the number who have been adopted into loving homes.

    And for the “Dr.” who responded who called us “poor parents” and “naive countrymen,” I’d like for him to know that I have lived in this “adoptive community” for 10 years and have met only a few “naive” parents who have not looked into the complications and corruption of international adoption. Most of them, in fact, are well educated about the evil that surrounds the process and many of them have dedicated their lives to doing something about it! What are you doing to change the situation?

  3. Anne,

    Thanks for the link. I updated the post.

    I also wonder (and have some theories) about why we don’t hear more about Western sex tourists and child prostitution Thailand — it’s not like it’s hidden away. The last I heard about that was something written (somewhat unflatteringly) about missionaries trying to combat Thailand’s child sex trade by engaging the johns on the street. Every once in a long while you hear about a guy getting arrested in Thailand an international man-hunt, but these guys aren’t exactly hard to find.

    Just before we left Tianjin Jessica started volunteering with an outreach to local prostitutes. We already knew and could see that prostitution was everywhere, but after spending time going around with the local women leading this thing, Jessica realized (incredibly) that there was much more prostitution than we’d imagined (and we’d imagined quite a bit).


    I remember the story about that church group from the US trying to move a bunch of Haitian kids out of the country in the aftermath of the earthquake — not a well-thought-out course of action, to understate the obvious. But I don’t see how you can justify painting that with the same brush as corrupt local Chinese officials who steal babies for profit. Aside from the fact that both situations involve impoverished children and illegalities, they’re totally different.

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