Friday, October 24, 2014

"The Orphans of Shao"


The story started as a small notice on a remote Hunan government website detailing a lawsuit filed by families in a small Hunan village against the Family Planning Bureau in their area.  While researching the Hunan scandal, we discovered this story of Family Planning confiscations in Gaoping Village, Shaoyang City.  After writing about the story in 2006 in the context of the Hunan scandal, we were contacted to cooperate on a Dutch documentary in 2008 about twelve families that lost their children to Family Planning officials.  These children were sent to the Shaoyang orphanage, renamed "Shao" and adopted internationally.

Now, the Chinese journalist that first broadcast the story inside China has published an in-depth book on the event, providing valuable background context to a story that has deep and profound implications to China's international adoption program.  "The Orphans of Shao" "consists of case studies that exemplify more than 35-year long-lasting policy in China, the One-Child Policy. Due to the effect that the National Law has created, Mr. Pang exposed the corrupted adoption system in China. The farmers in many villages are forced to fines that they cannot afford to pay so the officials take their children away. The officials then sell the children for a low price to government orphanages. The orphanages then put these children up for international adoptions and collect the high prices fees for these adoptions. The international adoptions are usually in Europe and in the United States. These families that adopted these children truly believe that the children are orphans. After their children were kidnapped by the officials, the parents embarked on a long and draining odyssey to recover them. After searching fruitlessly for many years, the heartbroken and desperate parents were on the verge of losing all hope."

These stories must be heard, as painful as they are for most to read.  Purchase of the book benefits "Women's Rights in China," an NGO dedicated to prevent such stories from happening again.  

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any chance this will be issued in e-book form?

Helenala said...

Sad. People are greedy these days.