Family planning officials in impoverished Guizhou province’s Zhenyuan County sent the babies to a state-run orphanage during 2003 and 2004 without properly investigating their backgrounds, the county government said on its Web site.
All the parents were still alive but had given up their children to avoid harsh fines under the country’s controversial one-child policy. State-run orphanages are only allowed to take in children who have no parents or those whom police have certified as abandoned.
Parents living abroad legally adopted the girls in 2006 and 2007, the government said. The orphanage — which received $3,000 for every adopted baby — has been cleared of wrongdoing, Zhenyuan county government said.
The official Xinhua News Agency said Friday it was not clear if any of the officials who were punished had benefited financially.