Hell is too good for some people.
Then a new father at the age of 19, Mr. Yuan was holding his 52-day-old daughter at a bus stop when a half-dozen men sprang from a white government van and demanded his marriage certificate.
He did not have one. Both he and his daughter’s mother were below the legal age for marriage.
Nor did he have 6,000 renminbi, then about $745, to pay the fine he said they demanded if he wanted to keep his child. He was left with a plastic bag holding her baby clothes and some powdered formula.
“They are pirates,” he said last month in an interview at his home, a half-hour trek up a narrow mountain path between terraced rice paddies.
Nearly six years later, he said, he still hopes to relay a message to his daughter: “Please come home as soon as possible.”
Mr. Yuan’s daughter was among at least 16 children who were seized by family planning officials between 1999 and late 2006 in Longhui County, an impoverished rural area in Hunan, a southern Chinese province, parents, grandparents and other residents said in interviews last month.