Why are there so many abandoned babies in China?

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A.  Several decades ago, China experienced a huge population growth and a shortage of food production. As a result there were millions of people who starved to death. The Chinese government was forced to develop population control regulations in the 80’s which limited the number of children each family could have ( known as the One Child Policy ). Because there are stiff penalties and fines such as sterilization, loss of job, or even imprisonment on families who do not follow this policy, many women are lead to illegally abandon their babies in hopes that they will be found and taken into an orphanage and eventually be adopted by a family who is eager to love her and raise her. We say “her”, because in Rural China, it is customary for a boy to take in his family with him when he marries, so families used to keep having children until they had boys so they had some sort of “retirement” when they get old. ( It is against the law in China for women to give up their babies for adoption ). Abandonment, ( for as incomprehensible as it may seem ) is a Chinese woman’s only adoption plan. We have read several books on China’s conditions that led to so many babies being abandoned, so that one day we can share them with our daughter to help her understand how thousands of girls like herself ended up growing up on the other side of the world. Some really good books are: “The Lost Daughters of China” by Karin Evans, and “Wanting a daughter, Needing a Son” by Kay Ann Johnson.

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