Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TRUE LIFE IS MUCH SCARIER THAN FICTION





The Illegal Baby Adoption Racket

Just when China thought they had a handle on all the fetus-eating rumors, an article out of the LA Times shows that they still need some polishing when it comes to the sanctity of human life. Either that or get rid of the restrictions in family size that are causing a whole lot of these problems in the first place. 

In Fuping a 55 year old obstetrician has been arrested for collecting babies, lying to the parents telling them it is either deformed, diseased or dead (China still has, behind closed doors, an euthanasia policy for less-than-perfect babies). She then took the baby and sold it for quite a tidy profit.

For years, as far back as 2006 she had been doing this. No doctor ever checked on her, and although some parents resisted quite strongly, she was so respected and even called 'Auntie' by most families that no one questioned her. But, like every criminal, she screwed up. 

Telling one couple their baby had syphilis and therefore would not have a 'normal' life, she took the baby and sold it. After some argument over who was unfaithful to who they both went to a different doctor, who determined that neither had the disease. That's when the police were called in. Happily, they were given back their baby.

Baby trafficker is on the left in the front row.
Others won't be as lucky. Although the police are investigating as best they can, and DNA can prove parentage, tracking down where the children went will be problematic. This was heartbreaking for one family. The 24 year old father was trusting and when 'Auntie' told him his newborn was neither completely male or female, she offered to 'take care of it'. Now they have no doubt the child was fine, but that was in 2006 - tracking that child will be very difficult at best.

As many as 55 possible baby thefts from the hospital are under investigation, with Zhang a principal suspect in half of them, according to police statements. Child trafficking is a huge problem in rural China, where babies are sometimes snatched from their parents' arms and sold to couples unable to conceive or who desperately want a boy. In December, the Public Security Ministry said it had rescued 54,000 children since April 2009, when a nationwide campaign against trafficking began.

Child trafficking (for the purpose of selling for adoption - not slavery or the sex trade) is more common than you may think. And China is far from the only offender. A small city less than two hours from where I live arrested a mother for attempting to sell her baby at a certain fast food restaurant. And I can recall at least two reports of people attempting to sell their babies on sites such as eBay or Craigslist. And now we have another social site in the crosshairs.

On April 16, 2013, Digital Trends reported that a parent of newborn attempted to sell it on Facebook. In Punjab this poor little one was sold not once, but THREE times - first it was kidnapped by the grandfather, sold for $850 to a nurse, who turned around and sold it to a lab assistant for $5,500.00. He then did the natural thing <heavy sarcasm> - decided to turn a tidy profit, selling it on Facebook for roughly $14,750.00. 

NOT child in story...
Obviously they were all caught and the baby returned. How was the investigation started? Well this 'grandfather' had told his granddaughter that her child was stillborn, but she became suspicious when suddenly 'he was much wealthier than he had been previously'. Nice. The person who purchased the baby was not arrested because he 'hadn't arrived to the meeting to collect his purchase'. 

This is not the first attempt to sell babies through Facebook  - right here in the US (Oklahoma in fact) a woman was arrested when she tried to sell her baby - in fact she attempted to sell BOTH of her children. One, a two year old was 'tagged' for $1,000.00, but upped the price to $4,000.00 when she included her 10 month old for a 'package deal'. According to Oklahoma investigators, she offered this price to an unnamed woman living in Fort Smith, Arkansas through a standard Facebook message.

Specifically, she wrote 'Just come to Sallisaw. It’s only 30 minutes away and I give you all her stuff and let y’all have her forever for $1,000. But I have to have it before next week.' She claimed to 
have needed a quick influx of $1,000 in order to bail her boyfriend out of jail. After the Facebook message was sent, an acquaintance of hers notified the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and she was quickly arrested.

When asked about VanHorn’s attempt to sell her own children, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward stated “It’s very disturbing to hear of a case like this, and certainly very tragic that somebody would treat their own children like a commodity.” When asked about this type of crime, Woodward continued “A lot of the deals, interaction, conversations will take place on social network sites where people can basically hide behind a computer screen, and they can hide their identity.”

This is certainly not a new thing, only the method of 'advertising' the sale is upgrading in our internet soaked society. But countries the world over have been doing this sort of thing for a very long time - now like I said this is those abducted for the purpose of being sold for adoption.

Again NOT one of the babies...
Looking around, I found that reports of children being abducted and sold, a lot out of hospitals, has been reported in the US as far back as 1924. In Cambodia, between 1997 to 2001 there were at least 800 illegal adoptions by just one person who made millions. One of her clients? Angelina Jolie. When caught did she get an appropriate sentence? If you think that a 36 month prison sentence is fair, we have differences in opinion.

Britain has a checkered history also - sale of children have been reported as far back as 1763. Procedures for selling children were often like those for selling wives when they relied on the contractual method, even if the contract was not legally enforceable.

In Ireland the earliest is in 964, and the reason usually was the family was suffering from famine and needed food.

Malaysia reports (as of 2005), baby-selling rings were 'thriving' although criminal.

In Greece, 'Babies of young women are sometimes sold to adoptive parents before their mothers even leave the hospital.' In 2007, brokering was being investigated by Interpol in Greece. 
Worldwide, in modern years, according to reporter Barbara Bisantz Raymond, brokers steal and sell children. In France, Italy, and Portugal, in 2007, brokering was being investigated by Interpol.

I'm not touching the subject of children sold for other reasons. This is depressing enough.