After months of online abuse culminating in an attack on its website last week, international adoption agency Children's Hope International (CHI), has reacted to critics who have labeled the agency a "human trafficking organization."
The claims, most of which were posted on the Chinese discussion forum tianya.com, center on allegations that the "revenue" generated by international adoption of Chinese orphans is so high that prospective Chinese parents are being forced "out of the market." The critics say this forces prospective Chinese parents to look for alternative methods to find babies for adoption.
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According to [founder Melody] Zhang, the criticism is not based on reality, but is in fact a hate campaign, launched in response to her organization's role in trying to save an infant's life last month.
At that time, according to reports published on ifeng.com, a disabled baby which had been left for dead at a hospice in Tianjin, had been "kidnapped" and brought to Beijing, "for the safety of the child," by a worker at the hospice. Zhang became involved when she requested that the baby be saved, much to the chagrin of the baby's parents, who preferred the baby be left to die rather than "suffer a life of pain and hardship," according to the baby's father.
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Regarding criticism that catering to foreigners makes domestic adoptions harder for Chinese nationals, Zhang was most vocal. "I think it's the other way round, that helping foreigners adopt Chinese babies brings more and more awareness to orphans and adoption issues in China." "Chinese people see foreigners adopt Chinese babies and decide to find out more about it. When they do, many then decide to adopt for themselves, which is the best thing for everyone. Children's Hope China supports domestic adoptions 100 percent. It's what we want to see the most," she added.
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