Hospitals in central China are advertising the selling of unwanted babies, according to a report by China National Radio (CNR), an official radio station.
A baby boy costs 36,000 yuan (around $5,878), while a baby girl was worth 24,000 (around $3,918), the report said, referring to hospitals in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province.
The reporter dialed a phone number that accompanied advertisements for the service, posted on the walls of another hospital. Under the pretense that he or she was interested in buying a child, the other party gave the assurance that the babies were healthy and that there were many to choose from. When asked where the babies came from, the speaker said they were not kidnapped, and that most of them are unwanted children from young working mothers who are unable to take care of them.
However, under the “hukou” household registration system in China, it would be difficult to ensure the child’s registration into the family record if the child was obtained through illegal means.
When asked about how to register the child under a “hukou,” the other party informed the reporter that she can provide a fake certificate from an orphanage, which can then be used to prove adoption of the child and allow the child to be registered into the family record at the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
Under China’s one-child policy, child trafficking and kidnapping is rampant because many families who have already had their first child or are unable to conceive become willing to pay for a child. Other child trafficking victims are sold into slave labor, prostitution, or marriage. Experts estimate that as many as 70,000 Chinese children are abducted and sold each year.
The CNR reporter also discovered that most of the children in local child welfare agencies have mental or physical disabilities, perhaps a contributing factor to many families turning to illegal means to adopt healthy children.
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