China’s controversial one-child policy and preference for boys led many families to relinquish their infant daughters in public spaces in hopes that another family would adopt them.
The policy also created a trafficking market in China, Stuy said, particularly after the country began its international adoption program: It costs up to $25,000 to adopt a child.
From 1999 to 2018, American families adopted about 81,600 children from China, according to the State Department.
He used the ads to start research-china.org, a paid service that provides adoptive families with information about adoptees’ birthplace and history.
“The adoption community, we’ve all been raised with the idea that the birth families abandoned adoptees,” Stuy said.