Authorities Rescue 382 Babies in Chinese Trafficking Sting

It’s time to demand more transparent adoption practices so that we know children being adopted don’t have living family who want to raise them and so that no child is illegally trafficked. The ethics of adoption need to be seriously considered. This story along with the December case of the Shaanxi Doctor who was selling newborns can perhaps open our eyes to the huge problem of trafficking in China and child trafficking in adoption. When we turn a blind eye, the children involved suffer.

World

Chinese authorities announced Friday the rescue over 300 babies in a sting that thwarted four Internet-based baby trafficking rings.

The fake adoption websites were selling babies in a country where a one-child rule has made baby trafficking a thriving enterprise, according to the Public Security Ministry. Authorities said 382 babies were rescued and 1,094 people were arrested in connection to their abduction and sale, the Associated Press reports. The suspects could potentially face the death penalty, the harshest punishment for baby trafficking, if found guilty.

The bust was a part of a six-month operation that started when police in Beijing and Jiangsu began following the bogus private adoption websites, CNN reports. Some of the buyers were connected through a Chinese instant messaging site and online forums.

[AP]

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8 responses to “Authorities Rescue 382 Babies in Chinese Trafficking Sting

    • Child trafficking is a factor involved in international adoption that many in the adoption community like to ignore. Of course, adoptive parents don’t want to think that their children came to them through trafficking, but it’s a reality we must face if there is to be any positive change in regards to the abduction and selling of children for the purposes of international adoption.

      • That’s not a solution; that’s a restatement of the problem.

        I am a prospective adoptive parent; my wife and I should be traveling to China in a few months. Certainly I don’t want to think that my daughter is coming to us via trafficking… and I have absolutely no reason to think that such is the case. We’ve gone through a reputable agency, and I believe that the Chinese government is on the whole diligent and honest with regards to the children it places into homes. I went through a less rigorous background investigation when I got a low-level security clearance years ago.

        Is the system perfect? No… but no system ever is. We do the best that we can. I agree that people ought to keep their eyes open and that adoptive parents ought to be very vocal advocates for making the system as rigorous as possible. I also understand why the “red thread” concept is offensive to some (perhaps many) adoptees. My daughter, for example, will have suffered three traumatic separations in her very short life: one from her birth parents who abandoned her in a public park when she was a few weeks old; another from her foster parents who, judging from how happy she looks in photographs, care for her very much; and a third from her foster sister who is going to another family here in the US (they and we hope to keep the “sisters” in touch with each other as they grow up). If I could turn back the clock and change these things, I would even if it meant that my wife and I remained childless.

        But I can’t. So, it seems to me that adoption is, if not a perfect solution, then at least the best of the possible options.

        What ought we to do to make it better / safer for the children?

    • Thanks, Jim, for your evident thought on the subject. I’m so glad that you recognize the losses inherently involved with adoption and plan to keep your daughter connected to her foster sister.

      As for what we can do, advocating stronger enforcements on the rights of the child is a good place to begin. The Hague Convention is a huge step in the right direction, as it applies to the U.S. and adoptions from signatory countries, and aims to promote ethical practices in adoption by increasing transparency, requiring adoption agencies to be accredited on a Federal level, and promoting kinship or in-country adoption first. There are currently 89 convention countries, but this hasn’t stopped corruption in the international adoption system. China is on this list, yet a recent statistic quoted in The Atlantic suggests that fraud or trafficking is involved in 3 out of every 4 adoptions from China. (http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/07/kidnapped-and-sold-inside-the-dark-world-of-child-trafficking-in-china/278107/)

      I think it is also important to recognize the power your voice, as an adoptive parents, has on the system. Unfortunately, agencies often work for prospective adoptive parents at the expense of first families. Since adoptees are considered perpetual children with a limited and stigmatized voice, adoptive parents can and must be a strong agent for social change. A coalition of adoptive parents with adoptees is one of the most logical and potentially one of the most powerful coalitions. http://danielibnzayd.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/what-can-adoptive-parents-do-to-change-things/

      There needs to be a lot of changes to the way the current industry works for adoption to be an ethical or ideal solution (a solution to an individual case, not to poverty, single motherhood, or method of ending the next generation of indigenous peoples), but I am hopeful that with help from activist parents like yourself great strides can be made. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/21/aboriginal-mothers-like-me-still-fear-that-our-children-could-be-taken-away

      • If I may jump in, although late, since you mentioned the Hague Convention, what’s your opinion of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC)?

        I know the US ratified the Hague Convention and not the UN CRC, but 95% of the other UN nations have ratified the UN CRC (193 out of 196?). Somalia has not because their government is in the midst of civil unrest. South Sudan has not because their government is still very new and is in transition. That leaves only the US that hasn’t ratified the UN CRC.

        Do you have any ideas as to why the US hasn’t ratified the UN CRC yet?

        But perhaps, more importantly, why should the US ratify the UN CRC when we’ve signed the Hague Convention? Aren’t they similar enough?

        I would say that the foci and goals of the Hague Convention is fundamentally different from those of the UN CRC. The UN CRC concern is children’s welfare, irrespective of adoption or intercountry adoption (ICA) http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx. In essence, the UN CRC states that children should have a set of rights and protections in all matters pertaining to them and lays out what those protections should generally look like for all stages of the children’s lives.

        However, the Hague Convention deals strictly with adoption (Article 2 (2)) with emphasis on ICA – http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.text&cid=69 If the Hague Convention applies, then the child is already slated for adoption, and adoption policies per Hague drive these children’s ‘protections’. Thus, if the children are slated for ICA, then the logistics of sovereign governments and intercountry transfers are dealt with.

        But, because the US hasn’t ratified the UN CRC, does the US have any treaties or enforceable laws designed to protect and enforce the protection of children who are NOT in the midst of ICA (besides the Indian Child Welfare Act – ICWA)? Or are US children only legally ‘protected’ when they and money can be exchanged, aka under adoption?

        Do US laws care more about protecting adoption or children?

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