20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son: Abandonment, Adoption, and Orphanage Care in China (Hardcover)
This is an excellent work on the population control and adoption policies of communist China. Very detailed and very educational. Explored the causes of abandonment and posited some unexpected conclusions about this issue. One of the best books I have read in a long time.
The only criticism I have is that the author seems to go to great lengths to show that Chinese society has come to value daughters in a way that it did not do so in the past (thus, the book's title). The author asserts that, after having a first son (who will be relied upon for social security in the old age of his parents), Chinese families are more than willing to accept and value a daughter as a second child. However, while there are certainly parents who will make this claim (perhaps because it would be shameful to claim otherwise), the fact remains that almost every infant abandoned in China and almost every child living (and dying) in a Chinese orphanage is a girl. This hardly reflects a new-found appreciation of the value of girls. And the fact remains that more sons will result in more old-age security for the parents. Chinese parents who value one son for the security he can offer will value two sons for the added security.
If you have been touched by adoption from China or just have an interest in China or its population control policies, then this book is worth its weight in gold. Kay Ann Johnson has done a wonderful job.