Sunday, March 12, 2006
The Hunan situation in the news
The Washington Post has an article about the Hunan situation, "Stealing Babies for Adoption". Brian Stuy, of ResearchChina.org, who was quoted in the article, has a few comments. He has written about the Hunan situation a few times in the past; it's well worth searching out his other posts on the subject. His contention is that the people trafficking to the orphanages are typically people who are, one could say, "liaisons" between found abandoned children and good orphanages and between parents looking for an alternative and the same orphanages. From what I've read, the CCAA is ramping up to (a) encourage more domestic adoptions, and (b) really try to ensure that the orphanages that provide children for international adoption are on the up-and-up. But the problem remains: an infusion of hard U.S. currency into countries with economic difficulties (or, in the case of China, areas with economic difficulties) is almost guaranteed to bring on the type of corruption and baby-brokering/buying that has caused other countries to close off their international adoption programs. A lot of people who adopt from China do so because of the squeaky-clean reputation of the system. Large numbers of babies are abandoned, they are in orphanages, they need homes, the centralized system keeps all international adoptions on the same level, so there's no unpleasant surprises for adopting parents once they get to China. And, of course, if you know you want a daughter, given that 95% of the babies adopted from China are female, it would be the logical place to go. The question is, will the changes the CCAA is making keep the corruption level low? How many potential adopters are looking at the news and asking themselves, "Is this just the tip of the iceberg?", and then turning away from China? It would be nice if the government of China would practice transparency on this particular issue. The clampdown on news reportage (I seem to recall that the BBC reporter who ran the news on the trial wasn't there "officially") is a Bad Idea. Of course, it's very Chinese to keep a lid on news stories that paint a less-than-rosy picture of a situation; in the same case, it's very U.S.A.-ian to play "dueling points-of-view" with newspaper accounts. For those who would like a deeper understanding of Hengdong, here's a description written by a gentleman who made a special trip to China to learn more about the region where his daughter came from. Enjoy.