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Selling Girls in China to Adopting Parents. What’s it worth? My Perspective

If people missed out on this offshoot conversation coming from this article via twitter.. a review:

ryamada @JeffreyLin More seriously, I do know a Cornell econ prof that wants to look at the arbitrage market for adoptions of young girls from Asia

JeffreyLin @ryamada arbitrage in terms of…money? any life here is better than a life there almost definitely

ryamada @JeffreyLin Question: if life (especially as a girl in China) is so cheap, why does it remain so expensive for American parents to adopt?

ryamada @JeffreyLin Presumably there are factors (norms, politics) that prevent the “market” from efficiently eliminating the arbitrage opportunity

continued…

I believe you have to cast aside your analytical mind and wear the shoes of a compassionate person. i can not look at this from a monetary/politics/ or even a social standpoint. you have to go smaller. its about people. no, the person. imagine ur a parent. how desperate would you have to be, if you loved your child, to have to sell that child? you would most likely be in a lot of debt, a druggie, or barely able to support yourself. as your kid came along, you cannot support them. either you sell the child or you both die. so, its not just about “how much it would cost to feed/raise that child.” you’d want enough money to feed yourself for a while, to get by, and thankful someone else can give your kid a better life.

the adopting parents are willing to pay, able to pay, and compassionate enough to pay. after all, your giving money to the parent of your adopted child.

with that said, these emotions probably ring louder for me because “selling young girls” have been a big part of chinese culture and history going far far back. There have been women I know, related to, and/or heard in stories that were sold when they were girls. They were girls whos parents were too poor to even feed themselves and the hardest decision was to sell the girl just to live another day. Unless you’re psycho, and i know some are, it is not normal and not easy for a parent to give up their child. And even if it seemed that way when they gave them up, they might’ve been too young, but regret it later and want to find the child again. (too much lifetime tv, television for women). Many chinese girls, all throughout history, were sold as maids to wealthy families. The social gaps were just too great. The poor, farmers or whatnot, could barely have enough for themselves, and the landlords could live on their riches forever.

Another case is when girls were sold for money so the son could have a proper wedding. Again though, it is because a lot of people were so poor, but also because of the traditional importance of the male “namebearer” in the family, when time came where the family needed a big chunk of money, the only option was to sell the daughter.

This isn’t just a Chinese historical culture thing or with girls. A similar story was told in the movie “A Knight’s Tale” where Heath Leger’s character was sold to a knight when he was a young boy.

so why do people do something that seems overpriced, or irrational? things like this i don’t believe is about the money. you could observed this in ancient china or today, the amount of money paid for the girls would be different, the form of money is even different, but what stays the same is how the parents, adopting parents, and the adopted child feels. there is no “logical” price on love and human connections. that is why parents, when their kids have been kidnapped, would give up everything and take on debt or do just about anything to have their child back safely. you can work to get back money, even if u have to work in McDonalds or scrub toilets, but u can’t revive a person.

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