Chinese Orphans and the One-Child Per Family Law

Lately more and more information has been released about China and the way the government has handled adoptions for many years. Two weeks ago, the number one Chinese investigative reporting magazine, Caixin, published a long feature on many families who have had their children taken away by the Chinese government because they were in violation of the one-child per family law.

According to a report by MSNBC, This feature opened the eyes of many Chinese citizens who live in cities and were unaware of the situations in the poverty-stricken farmlands of the country.

The Caixin report said that over the past 10 years there have been instances of family planning officials demanding that families pay in some cases more than 10,000 Yuan in Family Planning Violation Fees, or else they will take their second child and sell it into adoption. The article says that the local government officials have supported this Family Planning practice.

The Caixin reported that between 2000-05 at least 16 children from Gaoping, a poverty mountain town in China, were taken from their families because they couldn’t pay the fines. 12 of these 16 children were later sent to an orphanage for adoption.

The article says that once these children are sent to an orphanage, the orphanage must place an ad in a newspaper for 60 days, however if no one claims the child they are given a new name and birthdate and placed for adoption. The biggest issue is that many of these impoverished families living in the mountains never see the newspaper ads and are unable to fight for their children according to the article.

The Caixin article says that China has been practicing population control since the 1970’s and instituted the one-child per family law in 1982. These regulations have been credited with “bringing Gaoping’s population under control” according to the article. However the article also said that the laws go against ancient local traditions such as “sons offer valuable insurance against old age, and more children bring more happiness.”

This post is just the tip of the article’s iceberg, and I would suggest reading the entire article and watching this linked video to gain a better understanding of the current Chinese adoption issues. If you are considering international adoption from any country, working with an agency will help you clear many of the hurdles you may face.

For more information on adopting from China visit the US Department of State website.