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China's Hidden Children
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About the Author

Kay Ann Johnson is professor of Asian studies and political science at Hampshire College, where she also directs the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment. She is the author of several books, including Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son.

Reviews

"After years of research, Johnson has unpacked a number of misconceptions and misrepresentations. . . . Compared to much writing about adoption, which plumbs the motivations of parents who relinquish or adopt, or the local-level corruption of individual agencies or middlemen, Johnson's focus is larger: on the government of a huge country and how its social engineering efforts created a widespread crisis for hundreds of thousands of children and their families."
-- "New Republic" (6/6/2016 12:00:00 AM)
"Johnson continues her quest to uncover the hidden reality and long-term consequences of China's family planning laws, which up until 2016 prohibited more than one child per family. She provides a thorough examination of the effects of the one-child policy on rural families. In telling the stories of parents forced to abandon daughters, Johnson debunks the myth that Chinese families unequivocally favor sons. . . . This book is important for challenging conventional assumptions that international adoption is the only option for 'unwanted children.' Johnson's comprehensive survey humanizes a rural population often overlooked in debates over Chinese family planning policies."
-- "Publishers Weekly" (4/25/2016 12:00:00 AM)
"A searing, important, and eminently readable exploration of China's one-child policy. China's Hidden Children lays bare how the one-child policy actually unfolded and how so many adopted children were not 'abandoned' in any normal sense of the word."
--Nicholas D. Kristof "New York Review of Books" (4/25/2016 12:00:00 AM)
"This is an important book. Johnson provides extraordinarily rich, compelling evidence of what many Chinese families have done to hang on to their daughters, or to adopt daughters from others--all in the face of strong state restrictions and harsh punishments. China's Hidden Children undermines simple descriptions of what has been going on in China and corrects many misimpressions."--Nancy E. Riley, coauthor of Making Families Through Adoption

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