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December 9, 2009

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Police struggle to locate parents of rescued kids

ONLY four babies rescued from child traffickers have been reunited with their parents after the country's police authority published online the personal data of 60 youngsters who were recently saved.

Most of the unclaimed children have had to stay in orphanages near local public security bureaus, or even return to the families who had bought them from traffickers, Nanfang Daily reported yesterday.

"These children were rescued, but we don't have any idea where their parents are," a grassroots volunteer said.

Some of the children were now being cared for by policewomen as there are no orphanages close to their residences, the volunteer said.

Police have rescued 2,169 youngsters and 3,851 kidnapped women after solving 4,420 cases as of October 28.

However, only 298 of the children have had their identities confirmed via DNA tests even though a network of 236 DNA laboratories have been established nationwide.

Some parents didn't provide their DNA samples to police after their child went missing, said Yang Dong, vice director of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Public Security.

Missing out

In addition, some parents are migrant workers and some were from rural areas, thus they were less likely to read newspapers or watch television. Therefore, they were very likely to miss the news that their child had been rescued, Yang added.

As many children couldn't be reunited with their parents, some local police allowed the families who bought them from traffickers to continue raising them with the condition that they return the children when their biological parents are found.

According to a Ministry of Public Security policy published in 2000, families who purchased abducted children could legally adopt them after they've been rescued. The rule states that this can only occur if the "adoptive parents" had never maltreated the child and the biological parents agree.

However, some experts said this could lead to a "market" for kidnapped children.


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