Friday, July 30, 2010

China Testing DNA Before Adoptions

So says Amanda Kloer at's End Human Trafficking:

The baby trafficking industry in China has been growing rapidly in the past few years, now encompassing children sent to the U.S. and Europe and trafficked internally. While some of the infants and children who are bought and sold on the black market are orphans, others are kidnapped, lured away, and even purchased from poor and desperate families. By taking babies from the poor and selling them to the rich, traffickers can make bank. But the Chinese police hope DNA can change that.

The national database China has developed contains DNA samples from over 100,000 missing, homeless, or trafficked children and over 35,000 parents. Their goal is to test all children against the database before being adopted. If the child has a relative in the database or has been reported missing at some point, the police will then have the chance to contact the child's biological family before the adoption goes through. These rules apply to foreign adoptions as well. So far, testing is only being applied to children being adopted, but may hopefully be available to all children in the future.

DNA matching has already allowed several families to reunite with their missing children. And if the policy of checking the database before every adoption is really implemented, it could be a hindrance to traffickers who kidnap children and sell them to adoption agencies. But for the strategy to be effective, China needs a quorum of parents reporting their missing children and willing and able to pay the fees associated with a DNA test. Plus, this plan only addresses child trafficking through legal adoption means — underground adoption operations could easily skirt the testing requirements.


Wendy said...

I agree that not all children will be reunited, and paying the costs will hinder many, but I do see this is a positive step. Hopefully larger scale testing will help to curb trafficking as well.

Anonymous said...

Dare we hope that a national DNA database might be established in China so that birth parents could register and international adoptees might one day track them down? That would be wonderful! Maybe make it free for birth parents to register, with the adult adoptees paying the fee for matching services. I'm presuming that international adoptees would be in a better financial position to pay a fee. It would give my children hope of finding their birth parents. As they were all abandoned in large cities, I don't think there will be much chance of finding their China families otherwise. We have the technology, let's use it.


SustainableFamilies said...

It brings tears to my eyes that they are doing this.

I so deeply hope that I will see China make radical changes in my lifetime.