While investigators concluded that the government workers did not engage in “baby trading,” they did find “severe violations” of regulations, according to the newspaper’s Web site, People’s Daily Online. As a result, eight babies or toddlers were illegally adopted from the city of Shaoyang between 2002 and 2005, the article said.       

In a scandal that has drawn widespread coverage, parents and grandparents claim that officials from Longhui, a county supervised by Shaoyang, illegally seized at least 16 children between 1999 and 2006 because of alleged violations of family planning rules. The Chinese news media have reported that some of the children were later adopted by foreigners.

Government investigators examined 14 cases. In one case, parents voluntarily surrendered their child because they were unable to provide care. Five other children were deemed abandoned because the facts about their parentage were hidden by “involved persons,” the newspaper said. No further details were given.

Investigators found no evidence that the city’s orphanage, called the Shaoyang Social Welfare Institute, paid kickbacks to officials who delivered babies, the newspaper’s report said.