How officials 'stole' children from parents

Updated: 2015-02-02 15:52

By Wu Yan(

How officials 'stole' children from parents

Zhang Mingfa and his wife in their shop in Jianyang, Southwest China's Sichuan province on Jan 26, 2015. Their son employed local people to send out notices for missing parents and found them at the end of 2014. [Photo/CFP]

Zhang Huayong, who went missing 32 years ago, reunited with his parents in Jianyang, Southwest China's Sichuan province, ending two parties' years of search but exposing a series of local scandals of officials forcibly taking away newborn babies from their biological parents and sending them to strangers, reported on Wednesday.

Zhang, the second son in his family, was born in Jianyang on May 31, 1983. His birth violated the family planning policy carried out in the late 1970s. Though his father, Zhang Mingfa, turned over social maintenance fee stipulated by law to local authorities, Zhang was still taken away at six-month-old.

Social maintenance fee, according to a regulation issued by State Council on Aug 2, 2002, was defined as money levied mandatorily for citizens who give birth to more than one child without permission.

It is officially explained to be used to readjust utilization of natural resources and protect environment, as well as to compensate the governmental fund invested into public social affairs. In one word, to compensate social resources consumed by additional children.

According to the report from, Zhang Mingfa, the father, recalled the event that happened on Nov 13, 1983, when more than 50 people, including the then-Party secretary of Laojunjing village and the then-director of family planning office of Laojunjing village, came to his house and robbed him of his son.

Like other officially "abducted" babies, Zhang Mingfa's son was sent away. After constant search, he was reportedly provided a piece of wrong information about the baby's whereabouts by the county government and has never seen his son since then.

The report said that since around 1980, many regions in Sichuan province have taken "one couple raising one child" as the priority of the family planning work.

Jianyang, in particular, reportedly conjured up a customized policy of its own, taking away second or third babies from their parents and giving them to strange couples who didn't have a child.

Apart from Zhang Yonghua's family, there are dozens of households in different villages under Jianyang jurisdiction who lost their babies in the similar way around 1983, reported.

What happened in Jianyang is not a one-off.

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