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Over 1 billion people live in China and, in 1979, the government decided to limit its growth by whatever means necessary. This was the beginning of the one-child-per-family policy. The policy led to vast numbers of baby girls being abandoned in markets, at state orphanages or even killed. In 1996, a group of daring filmmakers brought to light the devastation of China's "one child" policy and the desire for families to only have boys. They traveled to China posing undercover as American orphanage workers. What they discovered was horrific.

In their film The Dying Rooms, the filmmakers showed the unbelievable living conditions in the orphanages they came across. They also found an actual "dying room" where an unwanted baby girl was left 10 days earlier to die. She was named Mei Ming, which means "no name." Mei Ming gave up on her fight to live four days after the filmmakers filmed her. The orphanage denied she ever existed, but the film proves otherwise.

As a result of The Dying Rooms, organizations like Amnesty International and Save the Children took notice and began focusing on the subject. And, according to the filmmakers, the United Nations also became more strict on China, and American families have also adopted more Chinese girls than any other nation.
FROM: Children Who Shook the World and Oprah's Book Club
Published on December 02, 2004


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