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there’s no business like orphan business
January 25, 2010, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

CHICAGO TRIBUNE : Reporting from Changning, China – The telephones kept ringing with more orders and although Duan Yuelin kept raising his prices, the demand was inexhaustible. Customers were so eager to buy more that they would ply him with expensive gifts and dinners in fancy restaurants.

His family-run business was racking up sales of as much as $3,000 a month, unimaginable riches for uneducated Chinese rice farmers from southern Hunan province.

What merchandise was he selling? Babies. And the customers were government-run orphanages that paid up to $600 each for newborn girls for adoption in the United States and other Western countries.

“They couldn’t get enough babies. The demand kept going up and up, and so did the prices,” recalled Duan, who was released from prison last month after serving about four years of a six-year sentence for child trafficking.

Huddled around a gas stove that barely took the chill out of their ground-floor apartment, Duan and his parents offered a rare look at the inner workings of a “mom and pop” baby-trafficking ring run by members of his family and an illiterate garbage collector with a habit of picking up abandoned babies.

From 2001 to ’05, the ring sold 85 baby girls to six orphanages in Hunan.

His story, which is backed up by hundreds of pages of documents gathered in his 2006 court case, shed light on the secretive process that has seen tens of thousands of unwanted girls born to dirt-poor parents in the Chinese countryside growing up in the United States with names like Kelly and Emily.
Taken from and read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/family/la-fg-china-adopt24-2010jan24,0,1164763.story

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