From the start, Malinda Seymore suspected something was amiss about her adoptive daughter's birth story. The Chinese orphanage told her that Zoe was a foundling, left on a bridge on the day of her birth with a note written on red paper by her birth parents. But three other adoptive families received similar notes, written on the same red paper, when they adopted their daughters from the same orphanage. Seymore suspected she wasn't getting the whole story. But with only the orphanage's word to go on, there was little she could do but wonder.I've blogged before about Zoe's note, and about some of the frustrations of not knowing whether we have the real story.
Eight years later, she is still wondering. And with good reason. This summer, the Los Angeles Times reported that corrupt officials in the Chinese government kidnapped babies from their homes and sold them to orphanages for upwards of $3,000 a piece. This is not the first time that reports of trafficking have trickled out of China, but it is by far the most shocking incident to date.
The latest news unleashed a torrent of conflicting emotions within the adoptive community ranging from worry to anger to outright denial. Some see the news as further proof that their lingering suspicions are well founded.
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"Obviously the worst-case scenario is that our kids were stolen," said Seymore. "But if we know, we can deal with it. It is that absence of information that makes you wonder and makes you worry."
Still hoping for change
2 months ago