Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dutch Documentary on Trafficking

Last night in the Netherlands Netwerk TV broadcast a documentary on trafficking into China's orphanages.

Predictably, many in the adoption community are discounting the story, feeling that this story is "old news". Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Netwerk TV's program focused attention on children taken from their biological parents by Family Planning officials in Shaoyang. One young girl was one of eleven children confiscated from a village in Gaoping for being unregistered. Her parents were unmarried at the time of her birth, and did not file her birth with the Family Planning office. The story was discussed in a previous blog. The whereabouts of the majority of these children is unknown due to the lack of detailed information as to age and confiscation dates, but the whereabouts of the child profiled last night is known: She was adopted internationally by the Shaoyang orphanage, and resides in the U.S.

Shaoyang is not alone in adopting confiscated children internationally. A similar event occurred in Chongqing's Hechuan and Wanzhou orphanages, where in 2006 sixteen children, all over the age of 3 months, were "found" at the orphanage gate. In the case of Hechuan, three girls -- ages 75 to 94 days old -- were processed on the same day, and in Wanzhou five boys and eight girls -- 2 1/2 to 6 years old -- were all processed over the course of five days. It seems probable that these children were "rounded up" and brought to the orphanages. How many other children are "found" in similar ways?

It should be clear to even the casual observer that corruption is becoming an increasing issue with Chinese adoption. Families can discount each story as it appears, but collectively a case is steadily being built that baby buying, Family Planning confiscations, and other extra-legal means are being employed today in many of China's orphanages.

Rather than fight those who seek to bring notice of these problems, the adoption community should work to insure that China's adoption program is ethical.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The whereabouts of the majority of these children is unknown due to the lack of detailed information as to age and confiscation dates, but the whereabouts of the child profiled last night is known: She was adopted internationally by the Shaoyang orphanage, and resides in the U.S."

Wow, what would you do if you discovered that history about one of your adopted daughters? Do you know if the family in the US who adopted the profiled child was made aware that their child would be profiled in the documentary?

Michelle

Research-China.Org said...

Yes, the family is struggling to come to terms with this information, but wishes to remain anonymous at this time.

Brian

stephen said...

wow, it would be devastating to discover that about your child.

sarah said...

Brian,
As someone who is approaching the two year mark since LID, I am deeply struggling about our choice to adopt from China. Our initial choice to adopt from China was because things appeared to be fairly ethical (on the IA continuum, anyway). After all of this time, it is heartbreaking to think that this may not be the case.
In some respects, it seems like the SN or waiting child programs are becoming the only ethical choice. (Because it is more likely that they were truly abandoned and because, as you have mentioned before, this is where the true need for adoptive parents is.)
As hard as it is to learn about all of this, I'd still rather know the truth. Thanks for continuing to share it.

Anonymous said...

I already feel terribly for my daughter's birthparents, because she is beyond words a joy, and it is a tragedy that they can't know her. I also was already outraged by the One child policy and its brutal enforcement, which results in our abandoned children. I wonder if those Americans who adopt Chinese children and are so eager to "understand the necessity" for this policy, will also find it in their hearts to excuse the CONFISCATION of other people's children as an enforcement method...
Gracie

Anonymous said...

Brian

I saw the part of the interview with you and Mr. Duncan and found it to be very interesting. I hope that the correct action is taken and that if things get verified that things are cleaned up.

Kristine

Anonymous said...

How can you know the child is residing in the US now?
The Netwerk broadcast clearly stated that the children taken from their parents are submitted to orphanages under false names.

I presume you're talking about the twins: was there a DNA test performed then?

Anonymous said...

My heart sinks each time I hear one of these stories. Do you ever think there will be a time that there will be a registry for parents who had children confiscated, stolen or who abandoned children so that we can track down birth parents? DNA makes anything possible these days and the idea that my baby could have been taken from her parents breaks my heart. If that's the case, I want them to know that she is safe and healthy and happy.

Research-China.Org said...

The identity of the adopted girl was confirmed through biographical data and by photos taken in Shaoyang. She is not the twin, whose whereabouts are unknown.

I find the idea of a registry intriguing, but doubt it will occur anytime soon.

Brian

Julie said...

Brian,

Is there any way one can get a transcript of the show? And I would give anything to get a copy of the show as well. If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it.

Research-China.Org said...

I have not yet seen a transcript, although I translated the Chinese portions. I will post a comment if I see and English transcript.

You might be able to obtain a copy of the documentary by contacting Netwerk.TV.

Brian

Amy said...

How did this family find out it wast their child? We have not seen the show in the US? Just wondering as a AP because the thought my my little one being in this situation just gives me chills.

Research-China.Org said...

Based on information gleaned from the original English version of the story, we were able to locate the child's finding ad, published a few weeks after she was confiscated. I posted to the Shaoyang group, and the adoptive family contacted me.

Based on photos obtained by the Dutch journalists, the adoptive family gave their opinion that the child was the same. Since the airing of the story in the Netherlands, my wife has visited with the BPs, and upon showing them the referral photos positively identified the child as their daughter. We have obtained DNA for later testing.

The couple also related additional details as to the extent of the Family Planning confiscation program in Gaoping Village, Shaoyang. It is no known that the confiscations began in 2001, and are on-going. I will publish more details regarding this information in the near future.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Are you following this at the request of the AF ?

Research-China.Org said...

Sorry, I don't understand the question. Can you restate it please?

Brian

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that China would ask for the adopted children back if it was known they were abducted?

Research-China.Org said...

I don't think so for a couple of reasons: First, doing so would ignite a public relations conflagration that would engulf the adoption community, and reveal even darker secrets about the program. I think the attitude of the CCAA is to "deny until we die", and hope that these issues fade away.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Brian,
Regarding your last comment, do you in fact believe that there are "darker secrets" to come? As an AP, I am so sad about this, and I feel so sick that perhaps we are unwitting participants in something awful. Thank you for your work; you are one of the few voices I trust in this tangled situation.
Kate

Research-China.Org said...

No, I meant that if an effort was made to undo an internationally recognized adoption, the resulting investigations would reveal other problems. At this point all I know or seen evidence of is baby-buying by the orphanages, and confiscation by government officials. It is hard to imagine anything worse than that.

Brian

Marianne pour "les cousines de Xuwen" said...

Brian
Many thanks for your commitment and your researchs. I am glad to read that you don't think any worse story (worse than child confiscation by government officials) is possible. I was asking myself the same question since I heard about the Dutch story...thinking that I would have never imagined such a story could occur ever. And thinking next, what could happen then around the Chinese AI program that I did not think about?
Best regards
French Marianne (LID 17.4.07 for 2nd child)

Research-China.Org said...

It is unfortunate that the Dutch Government will almost certainly rely on the denials of the CCAA that this is an on-going problem. Some statement such as "This was one village, and the children were not adopted internationally", a statement that is false on both counts. Additionally, it would take very little investigation to prove that baby-buying is an on-going problem, but that will also not be done. So, things will return to normal until the next report is issued.

Brian

The Franz Family said...

Brian - I follow your website and blogs once a while, not because I am interested in your service. I am Chinese and married a German. We have two biological sons and two adopted daughters from China. I have to say that I disgree with you a lot. In one of you postings, he said there are so many Chinese people in China are waiting to adopt, but can't because orphanages prefer foreign adoption so they can make more money....something like that.

I TOTALLY disgree with you on that. Have you thought about that the director who told you this was simply polite and wanted to make you feel good about getting a precisous baby? It is not Chinese culture to adopt. Everyone I know in China questions me why I adopt especially I can (physically) have children. I remember when I grew up, there was a couple lived next door to my aunt's. They could not have children. So they adopted one. The mother put a pillow under her clothes for 9 months pretending that she was pregnant. 9 months later, the brought home a baby. It was obvious that this child did not grow looking anyway like her parents (the child also has some kind of mental problem and development delays too). But her parents keep the secret to her and rest of the world. But it is hard to keep this from your neighbors - but they all pretended they did not know so they would not embarrass them. Everyone told the child how much she looked like her parents to ensure her being a biological child. I found out because one day, the father and the child had a fight. The father said something like "I hate that look on your face" referring her crying face. The child replied (being mentally delayed for her age) "but you and everyone else told me that I have your look!". My aunt could not hold her laugh. When I asked why, she told me that was a lie to keep her from knowing the fact that she was adopted.

There are not that many people in China would want to adopt. Not anyone in my circle of family and friends. However, I do believe there are many people in China would do foster care, especially in the country side and rural areas. I think they truly love children and they also enjoy getting paid to do so. It is a win-win situation for them.

China is a civilized country. But China has a lot poor areas. Many bad things could happen when people are poor. I don't think we can dig things in these poor areas and spread it out like it is the whole China problem. I love to know my child's past, but I would not obssesed about it. They are past period! I even did not get their finding ads - I am sure I can get them if I want to by simplying asking my friends in china to search for me. But everytime I thought about doing it, I felt sad. Why I would need another piece of evident that my child was abandoned? Maybe I am wrong. Maybe daughters would blame me for not getting them, but I am taking a chance.

I met a Korean adoptee who is in her 50s. I asked her if she had wanted to find her birth parents when she was a teenager. She said no such desire. She said her parents always made sure to her that if she wanted to, they would do everything they could to help though at the time when she was adopted, there were no much information avaible about birth parents (like our cases). But she said she had no such desire. Past was just past. She said she was happy with her life. I wish my daughters would feel the same way when they grow up.

I did not adopt my daughters to save them. I adopted them because I wanted daughters. Now they are my daughters. That is all what it counts! I will do everything I can to make them happy with their presence and future and let the past be the past!!

Sue
Mom to
Toby (16, bio)
Joshua (15, bio)
Anna (7, Huainan)
Jenny (6, Inner Mongolia)
www.crazybunch.net
www.franzthecrazybunch.blogspot.com

Research-China.Org said...

Sue:

While I respect your opinion, it is wrong on several points. There are many, many families in China that want to adopt, the trafficking problems are one piece of evidence, as is the large number of unregistered (estimated at nearly half a million) children. Additionally, nearly every orphanage confirms long waiting lists of families seeking to adopt. While I admit that there is a cultural stigma attached to adoption, most infertile couples will adopt rather than have no children whatsoever. And there are millions of infertile couples in China.

Brian

Anonymous said...

I have spoken several times with my child's foster mom- She has said that people in China do not want to adopt. She knows of no family that would go to an orphanage to obtain a child for adoption. She does know a couple that obtained a child through private means. She said that adoption has a stigma associated with it and that parents would hide the fact of the adoption at all cost if possible. She did say she would want to adopt if she was allowed to adopt one of her foster children despite the stigma associated with adopting. She also said she could not afford to care for another child without having financial support through the foster care program.
I do not doubt that family planning has used brutal methods to ensure enforcement of the 1 child policy. Although this is likely true - I agree with Sue (from China) the past is done - we are not responsible for the actions of a corrupt communistic government that does not value the individual and where the province officials have rights but individuals, families, and children needs and rights are of the least concern.
I also think it is possible that an increase in fees is due to the fact that CCAA is allowing fewer children to be adopted internationally and they plan to use this money to increase the likelihood of children remaining in their province. I still believe there are many children that remain in orphanages that are adoptable internationally and or domesticly .
Liz

Anonymous said...

I have understood that chinese families are very selective what kind of baby they would like to adopt. They want healthy boys or "goodlooking" girls. They are ready to wait a long time that special child even if in the orphage is full of other children. And there still are pleanty of healthy children in orphages. I pay every mounth two children's foster care payment and one child pre-school payment. All of them are in China orphage, all helthy little girls.