Monday, October 10, 2011

70,000 Chinese Kids Kidnapped Each Year

So says Foreign Policy mag:
Since at least the 1980s, kidnapping and human trafficking have become a problem in China, and most often, the victims are children. Estimates vary on just how bad things have gotten. The Chinese government reports that fewer than 10,000 children are kidnapped each year, but the U.S. State Department says it's closer to 20,000. Some independent estimates put the number as high as 70,000 (compared with 100 to 200 children kidnapped per year in the United States, for example).

The vast majority of kidnapped children will never see their families again. In China, kids are abducted not for ransom but for sale. Often, they come from poor and rural families -- the families least likely to be capable of tracking their kids down or fighting back. Some children are then sold to new "adoptive" families looking for children. Others are sold into slave labor, prostitution, or a life on the streets. In some cases, healthy children are brutally crippled by handlers on the theory that a child with broken legs or horrific boils looks sadder and can earn more money begging on the street.

Some children are even sold into adoption overseas. Chinese adoption agencies seeking the substantial donations foreign parents make when they adopt -- in some cases, as much as $5,000 -- have been known to purchase children from human traffickers, though these cases appear to be relatively rare.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm....really? are there "Chinese adoption agencies who adopt internationally? I suppose there might be, but I have never heard of that. I've always been lead to believe that the international PAPs use international adoption agencies based in their own country, which have programs for adopting internationally. Never heard of using an "in house" adoption agency within China for adopting internationally. Are you sure that's accurate information? I know that there is a lot of trafficking for adoption domestically within China...both thru abduction and through the birth parents outright selling the children to the "agent". But, never heard of Chinese adoption agencies adopting the children internationally.
It's my understanding that many of the children are SOLD by the birth parents to agents within China, for domestic adoption for those who want boys, or who want girls to be raised with their boys to guarantee a marriage. The concept of selling one's own child/baby is not even in your numbers. But, I've read that it's pretty significant.
Once again, I have to say, the title of your post is a bit misleading. I'm beginning to feel like the titles are for sensationalizing purposes, just as we see on the front of newspapers to catch the eye. I (most times) appreciate your view points, but the titles you have for them tend to be very slanted in the direction of being biased against IA. I tend to cringe when I see APs constantly do that, after they've already built their own family through the same means. It's a bit of an arrogant stand on the subject matter of adoption. I wish you would have titled it, "Possibly up to 70,000....." Or, "Could these numbers be accurate?" Instead of just titling it as if the article is stating "THE truth of 70,000". Labeling it as such makes me think you dont believe your readers can think for themselves.

Jess said...

While it's true that FP got that bit about "Chinese agencies" wrong--many outsiders make the mistake of thinking there are international adoption agencies in China that arrange for adoptions--those figures have been around for awhile and were also put forward in the film China's Stolen Children.

Yes, some children are stolen, some are trafficked, and some are sold by their birthparents. But the line between child selling and trafficking, or being induced to sell and selling is often pretty blurry and the circumstances that lead to these decisions are varied and for the most part not easily understood by westerners. The question of how many of these children made it into the IA program is open at this point and will probably be revealed down the road. No doubt many more than was originally assumed.

I think AP's who don't make it their business to understand and reform the program through which they adopted are cringeworthy, not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Jess-I dont understand your point. Are you saying that because I am questioning the numbers, and because the statement of "70,000 Chinese kids kidnapped Each Year" is misleading, and because that article is flawed in more ways that one can describe, and lastly, because the author is trying to make the article bigger than life, that I am naive and/or somehow burying my head in the sand?
Misleading information is damaging, in either direction. Yes, one should be aware that it happens. But, to my knowledge, it does NOT happen via way of Chinese adoption agencies within China, selling babies to foreigners, so to speak. To suggest that is absurd, and it suggests that the IA program is corrupt beyond measure. I agree that there have been a small percentage of trafficking and abductions in the past. Not sure if it is happening now, because it is not being exposed now. But, for every program that's good there are corrupt people within that organization. Look at the US foster care system....there are MANY great foster parents. And there are some who collect paychecks while treating the children brutally. That does not mean all US Foster parents are corrupt. Sure, there needs to be reform in the US foster care system, but as for China, I believe there IS reform taking place. Furthermore, in China, when people are exposed for their crimes against children they are imprisoned, and in many cases, sentenced to death.
To suggest that because I pointed out misconceptions and untruths in this post, is evidence that I am not aware of the actual truths, is absurd, and frankly insulting.