Wednesday, September 21, 2005

One Child Policy

I just found the Sept. 19 issue of Time magazine laying on the dresser in our bedroom. In this issue there is an article ("Enemies of the State?") about a group of people in China that are filing a class action lawsuit against the Chinese government because of the manner in which their village is enforcing the one child policy. The women in the village have been forced to have late term abortions and to be forcibly sterilized after they meet the child limit. I read an article online about the same village that said the families of pregnant women were taken into custody and held until the women came in and had a procedure (abortion/sterilization) performed.

Okay for those of you who don't know about the one child policy, here is a quick explanation. China has a population reduction policy that is called the one child policy. It is not really a one child policy though. Your family can have one son or, if a daughter or handicapped child is born first, they can try for a second child so that they have another shot at a son. Traditionally, sons are important because they take care of their parents when they get older. Daughters move away from their parents when they get married and become a part of their husband family. So, if a family has met their "quota" for children and have another child they are fined for the extra child or (some cases) are forced to abort the baby or to hide the pregnancy and abandon the baby after it is born. To top it all off, it is illegal to abandon children, so the parents of the babies could be punished either way. I guess it is a no win situation. It is not known how many children are abandoned or die each year because of the policy. If you are interested in this topic and would like more information The Lost Daughters of China by Karen Evans is a great book. (For those of you in the know about this topic, please feel free to make any corrections or additions in the comments section)

I cannot imagine what it must be like to live in fear that your unborn child could be killed before they are even born. Its hard to know how to feel about the birth mothers. On one hand they are taking care of themselves until the babies are born and then finding a safe place to abandon them so that they will be found. On the other hand, are they only taking care of themselves because they don't know the gender of the baby? Are they abandoning the child because she is female (or handicapped)? I realize it is a different country with a completely different culture that ours here in the good ol' USA. I guess that I am just thankful that the birth mother of our daughter cared enough before she was born that she took care of herself and found a way to get her to a safe place where she would be found quickly.


1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Hi! Yeah the one child policy is riduculis! We are also adopting a baby girl from China and are totally thrilled at being able to give a orphaned baby a chance at a wonderful and FREE life here in the great USA!
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