Bending the Truth

I recently came across this in-depth series, exploring the phenomenon of child trafficking in the Hunan province of China.  I was impressed to see that this was reported by a Chinese journalist.  He acknowledged that he had been sitting on the story since 2007:

I’ve carried the story with me since 2007, but until now it was never published. Editors at several publications told me the basic topic – family planning — was untouchable. Period. Family planning is basic national policy in China, I was told. Hands off.

According to the article exploring the evolution of the Chinese adoption industry,

Today, the CCAA website assures families interested in adopting that, “You will receive a foundling certificate certifying that your child’s biological parents voluntarily gave up their rights to raise the child. Biological parents have no legal channels to regain custody.”

A close look at recent studies, media reports and personal experiences such as Johnson’s paints a more complex picture of the child adoption system in China, though, and raises questions about the CCAA’s website assurance.

Brian Stuy, president of  FCC-Utah, a non-profit organization for families who have adopted Chinese children, and his Chinese wife Longlan Stuy argue that the system has been poisoned by deceit. The couple founded Research China, which specializes in tracking down the biological parents of Chinese girls adopted by Americans.

Stuy has reported that directors at many Chinese orphanages view children as “commodities for international adoption.” He notes that a single child adopted abroad can net up to US$ 5,000 for an orphanage.

In trying to locate the biological parents of his youngest adopted Chinese daughter, Stuy found that the orphanage in China had not only fabricated all sorts of information regarding the girl’s abandonment but also lied to her parents that she would return to China and take care of them in their old age.

“The orphanage made up all kinds of lies for us, giving her a different birth date, finding date, etc. ,” he said. “When we found this out, we were extremely angry with the orphanage director.”

Regardless of what one believes about the level of corruption of the Chinese adoption industry (and yes, I call it an industry), at the end of the day, what really matters is this: Agencies in China are assuring adoptive parents that their children are “legitimately” orphans, or that their birth parents have voluntarily renounced their parental rights…but so often, this is just plain not true.  The impact that this has on a child’s life, and on their birth family’s life, is immeasurable.

The whole series is well done and is worth reading.  I’m still processing the articles…more posts to come.



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