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Girls taken from parents and sold

[ 2009-07-03 11:39]     字号 [] [] []  
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About 80 newborn baby girls from a Guizhou county have been removed from their families by officials since 2001, and most have been handed over to foreign adoptive parents as orphans at a price of $3,000 each, the Southern Metropolis News reported on Wednesday.

Among the 80 families are Lu Xiande and Yang Shuiying, a poor farming couple whose fifth daughter was removed by local family planning officials when they didn't pay the appropriate fine, it reported.

Like every other father Lu wanted a boy, who finally arrived after three daughters. His wife then gave birth to another girl, and the couple had to support five children with an annual income of about 5,000 yuan.

A local family planning official gave them an ultimatum: Give away their little daughter or pay fines of about 20,000 yuan.

But instead of being raised as promised, the girl was taken to an orphanage and later adopted out to a foreign family, at a reported price of $3,000.

At least 78 girls have been handed over to foreign families in the past eight years. Two children with disabilities remain at the orphanage.

It's believed authorities forged documents stating the babies were orphans and adoption fees were split between the orphanage and officials.

The practice of making farmers who break the two-child policy and then fail to pay fines hand over their baby girls is now under investigation by the local public security bureau in Zhenyuan county.

Zhou Ze, a lawyer and professor with China Youth College for Political Sciences, said local family planning officials and the orphanage had committed a crime because nobody had the right to exploit a parent's right of guardianship over their children.

The fact that babies had been removed to make a profit meant it was also an abduction, Zhou said.

"It is legal that they can charge fines, as the parents did violate the law by giving birth to more than one child. But that doesn't mean they can take away the child. The fines can be paid later or reduced", he said.

Under Chinese adoption law, abandoned babies whose parents cannot be found can be registered for adoption.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Girls taken from parents and sold

About the broadcaster:

Girls taken from parents and sold

Siberian-born Kristina Koveshnikova is a freelance journalist from New Zealand who has worked in print, television and film. After completing a BCS degree majoring in journalism, she won an Asia NZ Foundation/Pacific Media Centre award to work for China Daily website. Kristina previously did internships at ABC 7 News in Washington DC and TVNZ in New Zealand and has written for a number of publications, including The New Zealand Herald and East & Bays Courier.