The process connects birth parents, child and adoptive parents in an unequal relationship in which each party has different needs and different leverage.
Adoptive parents and adoption agencies have powerful incentives not to talk about trafficking or to question whether a child was given up voluntarily, especially given how difficult it is to know for certain.
Several said they never discussed trafficking, even with other adoptive parents.
“Ask a typical Chinese adoptive parent that question, and they’ll say, my agency said so.
When the parents could not pay, the officials seized the children and sent them into the lucrative foreign adoption system.