Child Trafficking in China – DW Documentary

A child gets sold and the police and courts cover it up. I can’t bear this! I want my child back.” – Tan Jingjing, mother


Child Trafficking in China” is a brave documentary exposing the true story of a mother named Tan Jingjing whose son is kidnapped following divorce, and illegally sold on the black market for adoption. Tan Jingjing desperately fights to bring her son home while being threatened by her ex-husband and facing a system of courts, police and government authorities that are colluding in the trafficking of children.

Tan JingJing’s story is being repeated not only in the heartbreak of countless families throughout China but is a familiar story for many in America, and around the world, as well, who also feel their children have been trafficked through the CPS and family court system.

Title: Child Trafficking in China

Credits: DW (Deutsche Welle) Documentary. A Report by Mathias Bölinger.

View Online:

Part I-

Part II –


Tan Jingjing from China is convinced her son was sold to traffickers by her ex-husband.

She’s been searching for him for three years; by now he would be five. She hasn’t received any help from the authorities. But there is a glimmer of hope.

Every year tens of thousands of children disappear in China; there are no official figures.

Tan Jingjing’s son went missing after her divorce. She suspects her ex-husband sold the boy – then aged 18 months. He probably ended up being adopted, and is just one of countless similar cases. Children are bought and sold in China via online forums. Even where a child has been kidnapped and sold under a false identity, corrupt officials cover up the deal as an adoption. Tan Jingjing has spent the last three years looking for her son, who would now be five.

Outskirts of Wuhan, China: Tens of thousand of children disappear in China ever year, there are no official figures. These children are often trafficked. A black market exists with a high demand for the illegal adoption of boys as there is a stronger preference for sons. Others are sold for slave labor. When the children are no longer wanted, many are thrown onto the streets like trash, homeless and begging for survival. Other children are murdered, their bodies hidden or dumped into unmarked graves. Only a small number of a children are rescued from this terrible fate. Child trafficking is illegal in China but officials rarely pursue cases of missing children, or seek prosecution of traffickers. In many cases, officials accept bribes or even participate in the trafficking of children.

When mother, Tan Jingjing, separated from her husband, their son Muchen initially stayed with his father. After the divorce was finalized, Tan Jingjing was granted sole custody of Muchen and another son, born after the separation. When Tan Jingjing went to pick Muchen up, she was met by her angry ex-husband who had hidden the boy and threatened that if she reports him to authorities he “will kidnap the boy and then you will never see him again”. Tan Jingjing feared her ex-husband sold Muchen. She says, “Since then my only purpose in life is to protect my younger son and find my older son. I’m terrified everyday.”

Despite the threats and pressure from her ex-husband, Tan Jingjing filed police reports and filed motions with the court in an attempt to bring Muchen home. Though she can’t prove it, Tan Jingjing believes that corrupt government officials are covering up the kidnapping of Muchen. She fears retaliation from government officials when searching for Muchen, that she will be labeled as a “troublesome person”. Tan Jingjing alters her appearance, dressing like an older person and having her hair cut, so she can remain undetected, traveling through villages and peering into the classrooms of elementary schools searching for her son. Police and government officials are of no help. She reports being followed an monitored. Tan Jingjing has fought the return of Muchen over 3 long, agonizing years.

In yet another court summons, Tan Jiingjing demands that the authorities return Muchen to her care. “I have custody and I haven’t seen my son in 4 years!” she cries, “You don’t do anything, you don’t uphold the law, you keep messing with me.” Tan Jingjing is driven to desperate measures in an effort to regain custody of her son.

Please watch the videos on DW for the surprising, and emotional conclusion to this story.

(Video Shared with Permission)




About Emily Court

It takes "Just Us" To Fight Injustice in Family Court. I blog to raise awareness about problems existing in the family court system, and use my own story as a personal example of how the systemic failures in family court, and the Guardian ad Litem Program, affect families, in an effort to encourage needed reform. Written by a survivor of domestic violence and homelessness working to create a better life for her children, in a stable home free of violence. In her efforts to rebuild her life, she has not only encountered harassment and intimidation from her alleged abuser but faced systematic failures in family court that have empowered her alleged abuser and put her children at risk. She has spent over a decade trapped in family court until her children finally aged out of the system. Through writing and blogging, FCI is working to raise awareness about domestic violence, and the urgent need for family court reform. She is currently working on a memoir titled "'Til Prayers Are Answered".
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