By Ashton Shurson
From the Daily Iowan:
As Chinese adoptions increase around the world and especially in the United States, a few University of Iowa (UI) students have been looking into the darker side of adoptions in the Asian country.
UI law students Patricia Meier and Joy Zhang gave a presentation Monday on the Hunan baby-trafficking scandal and how it exposes vulnerabilities in Chinese adoptions to the United States.
In November 2005, police in China uncovered a baby trafficking ring involving six orphanages and babies primarily from the southern part of the country.
It is unclear how the children were obtained, but defendants claim the babies were abandoned while prosecutors in the case accused the Hengyang Social Welfare Institution of knowingly buying abducted babies.
Zhang said that the primary reason for the adoption trafficking was to garner more money - Hengyang received roughly $1,000 from the orphanages for each child and the orphanages could collect approximately $3,000 for each adoption placement.
While many involved with this specific case were arrested and punished, many questions remain about the whereabouts of the children and if Hengyang was an isolated case.
Either way, it has illustrated that the Chinese adoption process is easy to corrupt, Zhang said. Meier said inter-country adoption means large incomes for orphanages that are often misused.
In 2006, 10,000 children were adopted from China, with 7,000 going to the United States. Adoptive parents usually pay around $15,000 to $20,000.
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