Cablegate: A Frightening Prospect: Prc Infants Adopted

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On 23 October, AIT Taipei received the
referenced e-mail regarding the possibility of the Frank
Foundation, a US-based international adoption
organization facilitating the adoption of the infant
children of illegal PRC mothers currently in immigration
detention in Taiwan. Based on visits by an AIT officer
to this detention facility and information obtained from
local NGOs, it appears that the current situation and
the future faced by both the mothers and infants in
detention is considerably more positive than described
by the Foundation. AIT is strongly opposed to the
adoption of these infants in Taiwan, for administrative,
legal, and humanitarian reasons. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On 23 October, AIT received the referenced e-
mail concerning the situation of PRC mothers and infants
being held in immigration detention centers in Taiwan
and the possibility of assisting private U.S. groups in
the placement (i.e. adoption) of the children. This
possibility was raised by the Frank Foundation, an
international adoption advocacy organization. The
Foundation's website includes a section dedicated to the
mothers and children in a Taiwan detention center, where
it claimed that the female inmates were prostitutes who
were "broken physically, psychologically, and
spiritually," that their babies were unwanted, and
advocated the "rescue" (i.e. adoption) of these infants
to save them from a "terrifying and tragic" fate,
suggesting that many of the women might kill their
children upon their return to China.

3. (SBU) As part of the research for last year's
Trafficking in Persons report, an AIT officer visited
the immigration detention center in Hsin Chu, in all
probability the specific center referred to on the Frank
Foundation website, and conducted private, unmonitored
interviews with some of the female detainees. The
officer found that the conditions at the Hsin Chu
facility were neat and clean, the inmates described
their treatment as fair, there was no sign of widespread
psychological trauma among the detainees, and the
Taiwanese authorities were going out of their way to
make sure the women with infants are particularly well
cared for. This conclusion corresponds with reports from
local NGOs and other foreign representative offices that
have visited the detention center as well.

4. (SBU) While it is certain that some of the female
detainees practiced prostitution prior to their
detention by the Taiwan authorities, it is not at all
clear that even a majority were engaged in prostitution
or any aspect of the sex industry. There are no
statistics available and none of the detainees admitted
to working in the sex trade. However, based on
information from a variety of sources, we know that most
PRC illegals in Taiwan work in industries other than sex
and prostitution, including working as cooks,
dishwashers, janitors, manual laborers, domestic
helpers, etc.

5. (SBU) The Taiwan authorities have the right to detain
PRC nationals found working in Taiwan as illegal aliens
pending their return to the PRC, but they have sought to
return these aliens to their place of origin as quickly
as possible. However, the PRC government's reluctance
to accept their nationals back en masse has resulted in
a long and slow repatriation process. For example, from
January through March 2004 five groups of illegal PRC
nationals were repatriated. According to Taiwan's Bureau
of Immigration, repatriations stopped from March to
August, and since August 424 PRC nationals have been
repatriated, including 232 females and 19 infants.
According to Chang Hsu-ti from the Taiwan Mainland
Affairs Council, as of 28 October there were 2197 female
and 406 male PRC nationals, including 12 children,
remaining in detention centers in Taiwan. It should be
noted that children born in Taiwan to PRC national
mothers have no right of abode in Taiwan because, by
law, birth in Taiwan does not confer automatic
citizenship. Additionally, the Taiwan authorities will
not issue these children travel documents.
6. (SBU) The possibility that U.S. families might wish
to adopt these children from Taiwan also raises serious
U.S. immigration, consular and fraud issues. Attempting
to verify the bonafides of a PRC orphan in Taiwan, when
AIT has no access to PRC government offices or documents
and has no means to fact-check, would make the approval
of an I-600 petition and orphan investigation nearly
impossible. There is also the possibility that children
would be smuggled from the PRC to Taiwan to take
advantage of the situation, were we begin processing
these adoptions. For the protection of these children
and to maintain the integrity of the
adoption/immigration process, any adoptions of PRC
children should continue to be handled by the U.S.
Consulate in Guangzhou, not at AIT Taipei.

7. (SBU) Comment: There is no evidence to support the
allegations made by the Frank Foundation concerning the
hardships faced by PRC detainees in Taiwan or the fate
of their children. Suggesting that PRC mothers, many of
whom are not well-educated, give their children up for
adoption while still detained in Taiwan would set a
dangerous precedent fraught with legal, humanitarian and
fraud concerns. Any intervention or pressure by the USG
or AIT, real or perceived, even with the best of
intentions, risks further complicating what is already a
very sensitive issue.


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