The film showed many American couples who came to China to adopt Chinese children. Many parents saw China for adoptions. Its population-control policy, which limited many families to one child, drove couples to abandon subsequent children or to give up daughters in hopes of bearing sons to inherit their property and take care of them in old age. China had what adoptive parents in America wanted: a supply of healthy children in need of families.
News reported in 2011 said that at least 16 children were seized by family planning officials between 1999 and late 2006 in Longhui County, an impoverished rural area in the southern Chinese province of Hunan.The family planning officials sent these children to orphanages where the children adopted by foreign families. This became a scandal in the adoption world,especially for those families who have adopted children from China.For some, it raised a nightmarish question: What if my child had been taken forcibly from her parents? Many reports exposed the dark side of overseas adoption and as result, children in rural China have not only been the target of illegal foreign adoptions, but also kidnapping and sexual assaults or harassment.
The number of adoptions from China declined to 2306 in 2013. The rising standard of living, sex-selective abortion, and the rollback of one child policy in most rural places, meant that fewer families were abandoning healthy babies. But the main reason for the decline was Chinese government 's implementation and enforcement of restrictions on foreign adoptions in 2006. Family that wanted to adopt a child from China had to meet many qualifications, such as (1) having a net worth of at least $80,000; (2) having a minimum household income of $30,000, or $10,000 per person living in the home; (3) waiting 12-24 months before a suitable child is found. Usually, the adoption process of a Chinese child costs on average around $31,000.
The restrictions above might prevent foreign adoptions from being seen as the trafficking of rural children. But the most dangerous situation for those children in rural areas is the lack protection and guidance from their parents, especially the so called “left-behind kids.” In the case of Hunan I mentioned in paragraph 3, most of those 16 children who were seized by family planning officials in Hunan were "left-behind kids". They lived in villages with their grandparents or older relatives while their parents were working in cities. Because of the registered household system and the high daily expenses, children could not go to the schools in cities. They lived in the villages with their grand parents who were not educated. When their grandparents were out farming,children often stay at home alone.Around 30 million children under 18 have no parent at home and two million fend for themselves with no adult guardian. These families only reunite a few days each year, usually during the Spring Festival.
China has been recruiting more social workers to provide counseling for the children left behind in rural areas, according to 2013 figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED) government spending on social services rose an average of 24% from 2008 to 2012. In addition, earlier this year the government loosed the household restriction on education and established schools for the children of migrant workers. More and more migrant workers choose to bring their children together to cities where they work. The love and guidance from parents are some of the most important things for rural children and their development.