Xiong Chao escaped that fate. Villagers say he was the last baby that officials tried to snatch, and one of the few returned home.Makes me feel more than a little sick. And then there's this charming quote from an adoption agency that placed children from the local orphanage:
Now, six years later, his 63-year-old grandmother, Dai Yulin, patiently scrawls blue and white chalk numerals on her concrete wall hoping — in vain — that Chao will learn them.
“He has been to primary school for a whole year,” she said, “and he still cannot recognize one and two.”
Nearby is the tiny, dark room where, she said, she tried and failed in September 2006 to hide Chao from family planning officials. He was 8 months old, her son’s second child. Officials demanded nearly $1,000, then took him away when she could not pay.
His mother, Du Chunhua, rushed to the family planning office to protest.
There, as she struggled with two officials on the second-floor balcony, she said, the baby slipped from her grasp and fell more than 10 feet, to the pavement below.
Later, she said, as the baby lay in a coma in the hospital, his forehead permanently misshapen, officials offered a deal: they would forget about the fine as long as the family covered the medical bills for Chao.
Also, they said, the Xiongs could keep him.
The scandal also has renewed questions about whether Americans and other foreigners have adopted Chinese children who were falsely depicted as abandoned or orphaned. At least one American adoption agency organized adoptions from the government-run Shaoyang orphanage.Sigh.
Lillian Zhang, the director of China Adoption With Love, based in Boston, said by telephone last month that the agency had found adoptive parents in 2006 for six Shaoyang children — all girls, all renamed Shao, after the city. The Chinese authorities certified in each case that the child was eligible for adoption, she said, and her agency cannot now independently investigate their backgrounds without a specific request backed by evidence.
“I’m an adoption agency, not a policeman,” Ms. Zhang said.