The Mystery of the Chinese Baby Shortage – Beth Nonte Russell

From The New York Times:
One baby.jpgOCP.jpg

ACCORDING to a State Department report released this week, American citizens adopted 6,493 from China in 2006, a decline of 18 percent from the previous year’s total of 7,906. And yet, just over a month ago, this newspaper reported that China had prepared strict new criteria for foreign applications because the country claimed it lacked “available” babies to meet the “spike” in demand.

China has always limited foreign adoptions, and it does not publish reliable statistics on the number of children in its orphanages. So how is one to know whether the decrease in adoptions reflects a lack of supply or a lack of demand?

…According to a February 2005 report in The Weekend Standard, a Chinese business newspaper, demographers in China found a ratio of 117 boys per 100 girls under the age of 5 in the 2000 census. Thanks to China’s , put into effect in 1979 in order to curb growth, and a strong cultural preference for male children, this gender gap could result in as many as 60 million “missing” girls from the by the end of the decade, enough to alarm even Chinese officials. [Full Text]

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