Source: NY Times
The thieves often strike at dusk, when children are playing outside and their parents are distracted by exhaustion.
Deng Huidong lost her 9-month-old son in the blink of an eye as a man yanked him from the grip of his 7-year-old sister near the doorway of their home. The car did not even stop as a pair of arms reached out the window and grabbed the boy.
Sun Zuo, a gregarious 3 1/2-year-old, was lured off by someone with a slice of mango and a toy car, an abduction that was captured by police surveillance cameras.
Peng Gaofeng was busy with customers when a man snatched his 4-year-old son from the plaza in front of his shop as throngs of factory workers enjoyed a spring evening. “I turned away for a minute, and when I called out for him he was gone,” Mr. Peng said.
These and thousands of other children stolen from the teeming industrial hubs of China’s Pearl River Delta have never been recovered by their parents or by the police. But anecdotal evidence suggests the children do not travel far. Although some are sold to buyers in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, most of the boys are purchased domestically by families desperate for a male heir, parents of abducted children and some law enforcement officials who have investigated the matter say.
The demand is especially strong in rural areas of south China, where a tradition of favoring boys over girls and the country’s strict family planning policies have turned the sale of stolen children into a thriving business.
Su Qingcai, a tea farmer from the mountainous coast of Fujian Province, explained why he spent $3,500 last year on a 5-year-old boy. “A girl is just not as good as a son,” said Mr. Su, 38, who has a 14-year-old daughter but whose biological son died at 3 months. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have. If you don’t have a son, you are not as good as other people who have one.”
The centuries-old tradition of cherishing boys — and a custom that dictates that a married woman moves in with her husband’s family — is reinforced by a modern reality: Without a real social safety net in China, many parents fear they will be left to fend for themselves in old age.
A stupid centuries-old tradition which will continue to last for centuries. Why the obsession with boys? And the amazing thing it that it's mostly pushed by moms. Women who were treated like shit as a girl, continue to treat their own daughters like shit. It's a sad cycle. Also the paternal grandmother who wants a grandson puts enormous pressure on their daughter-in-law to have a boy, even when we all know it's out of her control.
The ironic thing is that in old age, the daughter will always go back and take care of the mom who treated her like shit. The spoiled boy is off doing his own thing.
It's so very very sad.
I thought the whole point of having a boy was to continue the bloodline. If you buy a kidnapped boy from the black market than what's the point of that? People will instantly know that the boy looks nothing like you and there's no bloodline involved at all. And how can someone have a guilty mind to knowingly raise someone else's child just to show off? I don't blame the thieves, cause thieves will be thieves. I blame the bastard parents who create this market and buy boys. I don't think any of us could live with ourselves raising a stolen child. If we cannot have children, then we can adopt a boy from a broken family.
I'm lucky to be born in Canada cause if I was born in China I think I'd be somewhere dead in a garbage can.