China's unwanted babies

China's Unwanted Babies

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Chinese media frequently report harrowing tales of babies being abandoned, a problem attributed to young mothers unaware they are pregnant, the birth of an unwanted girl in a society which puts greater value on boys or China's strict family planning rules.

In one such case, a baby was found in a dumpster on the outskirts of Beijing. He didn't survive. In another, firemen in eastern China rescued an abandoned newborn boy from a sewage pipe.

Chinese orphanages have seen a falling number of abandoned children since 2005, but officials estimate some 10,000 unwanted children are still received each year. An unknown number of abandoned babies are also adopted informally. (Reuters)

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