China's Hidden Children: Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy

China s Hidden Children Abandonment Adoption and the Human Costs of the One Child Policy In the thirty five years since China instituted its One Child Policy children mostly girls have left China through international adoption including to the United States It s generally

  • Title: China's Hidden Children: Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy
  • Author: Kay Ann Johnson
  • ISBN: 9780226352510
  • Page: 344
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the thirty five years since China instituted its One Child Policy, 120,000 children mostly girls have left China through international adoption, including 85,000 to the United States It s generally assumed that this diaspora is the result of China s approach to population control, but there is also the underlying belief that the majority of adoptees are daughters becaIn the thirty five years since China instituted its One Child Policy, 120,000 children mostly girls have left China through international adoption, including 85,000 to the United States It s generally assumed that this diaspora is the result of China s approach to population control, but there is also the underlying belief that the majority of adoptees are daughters because the One Child Policy often collides with the traditional preference for a son While there is some truth to this, it does not tell the full story a story with deep personal resonance to Kay Ann Johnson, a China scholar and mother to an adopted Chinese daughter Johnson spent years talking with the Chinese parents driven to relinquish their daughters during the brutal birth planning campaigns of the 1990s and early 2000s, and, with China s Hidden Children, she paints a startlingly different picture The decision to give up a daughter, she shows, is not a facile one, but one almost always fraught with grief and dictated by fear Were it not for the constant threat of punishment for breaching the country s stringent birth planning policies, most Chinese parents would have raised their daughters despite the cultural preference for sons With clear understanding and compassion for the families, Johnson describes their desperate efforts to conceal the birth of second or third daughters from the authorities As the Chinese government cracked down on those caught concealing an out of plan child, strategies for surrendering children changed from arranging adoptions or sending them to live with rural family to secret placement at carefully chosen doorsteps and, finally, abandonment in public places In the twenty first century, China s so called abandoned children have increasingly become stolen children, as declining fertility rates have left the dwindling number of children available for adoption vulnerable to child trafficking In addition, government seizures of locally but illegally adopted children and children hidden within their birth families mean that even legal adopters have unknowingly adopted children taken from parents and sent to orphanages The image of the unwanted daughter remains commonplace in Western conceptions of China With China s Hidden Children, Johnson reveals the complex web of love, secrecy, and pain woven in the coerced decision to give one s child up for adoption and the profound negative impact China s birth planning campaigns have on Chinese families.

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    About “Kay Ann Johnson”

    1. Kay Ann Johnson

      Kay Ann Johnson Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the China's Hidden Children: Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy book, this is one of the most wanted Kay Ann Johnson author readers around the world.

    179 thoughts on “China's Hidden Children: Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy”

    1. As an adoptive mother, I felt it was my duty to read this book. It definitely points out major flaws in the adoption and political system of China. The book tells heartbreaking personal stories, but only of children born "healthy". Miss Johnson does not tell international adoptive parents what we should have done. It left me feeling like I have done something wrong in adopting and loving them.


    2. Heart-rending stories (once you get past the overly long introduction) of real people in China who loved and longed for their children. Johnson belabours the point that this modern-day tragedy is a result of the Chinese government's birth-planning policies rather than a cultural devaluation of girls. Her meticulous research over a long period of time bring the sad statistics to life.Recommended reading for anyone interested in international adoption, parent-child relationships or coercive govern [...]


    3. The interviews and research collected for this book are impressive but the prose kept repeating itself, like it was searching for a final thought or just filling space.


    4. This is well worth reading to broaden one's understanding of the impact and practical application of China's One Child Policy across time.


    5. An interesting book about the ramifications of China's one child policy, including many personal stories. It does read a bit like a scholarly research article at times, but overall I enjoyed it and learned a lot.


    6. This book strongly denounces China's one-child (now two-child) policy by examining the sad stories of those parents, adopters, children, and others who have been affected by it. The book rightly critiques this horrendous policy. But I didn't think the book was particularly well written. Though the book is short, most of the sentences are long and a bit technical. The author's primary goal is to put forward stories that reveal the human cost of China's birth planning policies. The stories were in [...]


    7. I really appreciated the immense amount of research that went into this book. A lot of the stories began to blur together and sometimes I wanted to hear more from the children of the Chinese families involved (versus the parents), but I learned so much in reading it and gained a better appreciation for the numerous ways in which parents would / will go about hiding their children so they won't be taken by government officials, the devastating fact that sometimes these methods don't always work ( [...]


    8. Extensive interviews with parents in China who gave up much-wanted second or third children (primarily girls) and those children (now adults) during China's one-child policy years. It was heart-breaking to read how the parents tried to save their babies by "abandoning" them in front of childless couples (in the hopes they would take them in), or other relatives who already had 1 girl (and were thus eligible to try for a second baby) and/or were able to pay the fees for having an "out of plan" ch [...]


    9. Such a great analysis of the one child policy and the real reasons underlying the availability of babies, particularly girls, for adoption in China. I'd recommend it to anyone, but especially to anyone who has any connection to adoption, whether domestic or international.


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