Orphanage probed over baby charges claim

Date: 2006-04-19
Source: Xinhuanet

BEIJING, April 19 -- The manager of a public orphanage is under investigation over claims that he demanded charges for babies being adopted and pocketed some of the cash himself.

Earlier this month, local media in Ankang, a southern city of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, received an e-mail that claimed Wang Zhou, the head of Ankang Child Welfare Home, forced people looking to adopt to hand over hefty donations.

"We received a report on the case and we have established an investigating group that is working on it," said Mu Yanling, deputy director of Ankang Municipal Welfare Administration Bureau.

According to the e-mail, Du Huibin, manager of Mengyu Consultant Service Centre in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, paid 16,000 yuan (US$2,000) in December last year to Wang for a one-month-old baby, whom the child welfare home had just received.

The Adoption Law of the People's Republic of China, however, states babies can only be adopted after being at orphanages for at least four months.

Another e-mail said Du later tried to adopt another baby from the home for slightly less money. It has been alleged he offered a lower sum after claiming the home only received 9,000 yuan (US$1,120) from the total payment made to Wang for the first baby.

Wang has denied the allegations levelled at him.

"I did not embezzle the money, and people who adopt children from the home are only encouraged to donate money," he said.

According to Mu Yanling, donations are expected to be given when people adopt orphans from the welfare home to cover the operating costs of the site. He added the amount is decided according to the financial status of the adopting families.

Mu said the bureau had had several talks with Wang and requested him to give detailed information about the case.

"The law will have the final say if any illegal act is found in this case," he said.

(Source: China Daily)

Editor: Mo Hong'e

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