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How Much Is a Child Worth?

Apparently $29,000 in China, according to an Associated Press story about the Chinese government's compensation plan to families whose children have died from melamine in tainted milk products. Families whose children suffered from serious cases of kidney stones would get $4,380 and those with less severe cases would get $290.

More than 200 parents thus far have signed a petition rejecting the compensation as too little. In a letter seen by The Associated Press, the parents say that compensation should be based on appraisals of individual cases, recovering babies should receive free medical treatment and there should not be an age limit of 3 on children eligible for free treatment.

All this got me thinking. Just how much is a child worth? If that melamine-contamination had been widespread in the U.S., the din would be deafening and the dollar amounts would have a lot more zeroes on them. And in the end, no amount of money could tear the pain out of a parent's heart after watching his child die.

If you were a parent in China, what would your demands be? What kind of a price tag do you put on a child?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  January 13, 2009; 11:38 AM ET
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To quote Jezebel and her favorite saying, "Each child is an individual."

So, it depends.

Posted by: anonthistime | January 13, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

All I know is that Americans end up spending a lot more than $29,000 when they adopt Chinese babies...

My daughter is priceless. I'm not sure how you come up with a number to reduce her life to...

Posted by: atb2 | January 13, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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