Chinese parents, trapped in one-child web, give babies away on Internet

Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:07pm EDT
 
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By Lavinia Mo, Sui-Lee Wee and Li Hui

GANZHOU, China (Reuters) - Lu Libing knew he had only one choice as the birth of his third child approached. He couldn't afford hefty fines that would be meted out by Chinese authorities, so he put the unborn child up for adoption.

On the Internet he found "A Home Where Dreams Come True", a website touted as China's biggest online adoption forum, part of an industry that has been largely unregulated for years.

Expectant couples, unwilling or unable to keep their children, go to the website looking for adoptive parents rather than abort their babies or abandon them.

There are no clear statistics on how many people use these websites but "A Home Where Dreams Come True" said 37,841 babies had been adopted through its website from 2007 to August 2012.

More than 380 babies were rescued and 1,094 people arrested when the government cracked down on the industry last month. Adoption websites such as "A Home Where Dreams Come True", whose founder was arrested, were shut because they were deemed illegal and responsible for the trafficking of babies.

An official with China's state-run adoption agency, the China Centre for Children's Welfare and Adoption, said parents could apply to the civil affairs ministry to give up children.

The official, who declined to be identified, said it was "definitely wrong" to use websites.

"These are children, not commodities," the official said.   Continued...

 
Lu Libing's wife, Mu, poses for pictures during an interview with Reuters at their home in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province March 13, 2014. REUTERS/Alex Lee