Bloomberg Businessweek

China’s Secret Children Step Out of the Shadows

Survivors of the one-child policy recall forced adoptions and derailed careers
Xie, here with her son, was sent to live with a childless farmer

As China enters a year that could finally bring an end to the world’s biggest social-control experiment, parents and children who suffered under the one-child policy are beginning to step forward to share their stories.

Introduced in the 1970s in a series of local trials that coalesced after years into a national policy, China’s birth restrictions fundamentally altered the fabric of its society. Communist Party officials say the one-child directive prevented 400 million births, though academics have argued that figure is too high because the country’s fertility rate would have declined gradually without government interference, owing to factors such as improved living standards, rising education levels, and more women entering the labor force.

Despite the threat

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