An orphanage in southwest China has been accused of taking children away from parents who can't afford fines for violating family planning policy and sending the kids overseas for adoption.The orphanage was reportedly earning US$3,000 for each child placed with a foreign family.
The allegations involve family planning officials in Zhenyuan County, Guizhou Province. They demanded that parents who violated childbirth regulations pay 10,000 yuan (US$1,460) for each extra offspring, according to Nanfang Metropolis Daily. Those who couldn't afford the fine were ordered to give their child to a local orphanage, the paper said.
Lu Xiande, a farmer in Zhenyuan, had his fourth daughter taken by the orphanage in June 2004, according to the report.Lu's daughter was born in February 2003. A family planning official identified as Shi Guangying approached Lu's wife, Yang Shuiying, and told her that the government would take her daughter because she couldn't pay the fine, the paper said.
Shi told the newspaper that the taking of the child was in line with county policies. Several other local residents reported similar experiences, the newspaper said.The orphanage was funneling the children into China's system for foreign adoptions, the paper reported.
The fact that this is reported in a Chinese newspaper seems HUGE. Shanghai Daily is "supervised by the Foreign Publicity Office of the Shanghai CPC Committee and the Press Office of the Shanghai Municipal Government," so this is Chinese Government-sanctioned news. I wonder why they are willing to publish to the world this story. . . .
UPDATE 7/02, 7:50 p.m.: Brian Stuy has a post up at research-china.org with some additional information, including info about the adoptive parent who helped uncover the story, and links to a variety of media reports. Brian also says he's hopeful that an English translation of the original, lengthy article quoted in the Shanghai Daily report will be available soon. I found this blog last night (early this morning!) when I was trying to check out the Shanghai Daily report, and it appears to be a bad English translation of a lengthy article, if you want to pick through it to try to understand!
Brian also reports the only potential bright spot here: "[T]he orphanage made no attempt to disguise the origin of these children -- the adoption paperwork lists the finding location as the birth parent's home. Thus many of Zhenyuan's adoptive parents have been given a direct line to their child's birth family."