China Babies Adoption Research

China Babies Adoption Research
China Babies Adoption Research

Friday, December 07, 2007

Change 4 Orphans

Alex's Notes: This is an excerpt from the website of a young lady who is taking an active role in making the world a little bit of a better place. I encourage you to take a look at her website, and if you feel so inclined, send her a donation to help her accomplish her mission. Website link at the bottom of the post.


Hi my name is Leah. I live in Colorado. I am 13 and I am in 8th grade. I started this project to help children in Ethiopia. There are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia alone. Many of them live in crowded orphanages, with neighbors, relatives or on the street because their parents are poor, sick, or have died. Some have family but they have no money to feed them or put them in school so they are brought to the orphanages. I decided that I want to start a penny drive and donate the money to help the people. My goal is to get one penny for every orphan in Ethiopia. The orphanages need supplies and medicine and the children have no toys. My family adopted my sister from Ethiopia and that is what helped me with the idea. I have been collecting donations since March 2007.

This is me giving donated $ to the manager Geday at HFTA

We personally delivered the money donated so far to Ethiopia in November 2007. There was $2084.00 collected by the time we traveled to Addis Ababa, ET. Just over $1000.00 went towards putting in a playground at The Hope For The Abandoned Children and Orphan Care Association (HFTA) where my sister lived. They will have red ash placed down to cut down the mud and a merry-go-round for the children to play on. $170 is going towards training an adult orphan to learn how to start a business and support herself. We also purchased basic supplies like diapers and bottles along with medicines and 3 large storage containers to hold clothing. We delivered 6 large duffel bags of donated clothing, shoes, notebooks and crayons directly to the orphanage.

$800.00 went towards community sponsorship of 4 children for a year to attend school, receive a school uniform, school supplies and a meal. These children live with family and I will post their information as soon as I get it. This sponsorship is handled by the Sele Enat Orphanage.

I would like to continue collecting excess change to donate to these places. You can be sure that the money is going directly to help the children. You can check back here for updates.

So, if you have any pennies in your pocket, just think about this:

The reason I chose pennies is because most people when they see a penny on the ground they just walk by it, like they didn't even see it. Most of the world is doing the same thing to the Orphans of Ethiopia. Please don't just walk by them. Make a difference.


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China-Babies Research

Strict rules stunt adoptions from China

December 5, 2007
By Lucy Gotell

Chinese adoptions are expected to decline as a result of stricter guidelines that are making it harder for British Columbians to qualify as prospective parents.
British Columbians finding it harder to adopt Chinese Children
Cathy Lopston, spokesperson for Family Services of Greater Vancouver, said the number of applications for China’s international adoption program has decreased since the China Centre of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) implemented new guidelines in May.

“I would say most adoption agencies in British Columbia – and there are six of us – most of us have seen a decline,” she said.

The CCAA implemented the guidelines, which exclude singles, people over 50 and others from the program, in response to a soaring number of applications in recent years.

“The new rules will help shorten the waiting time for qualified foreigners and speed up the process for children,” said CCAA director Lu Ying.

Singled out

Eileen Power, mother of an adopted daughter from China, said the impact of being excluded from the program would be “heartbreaking” for those who no longer qualify.

“People that really want a baby that cannot have a baby, it’s very, very difficult,” she said. “I particularly think single parents - for a single woman - to adopt a little girl, and raise that little girl, that is a very special thing.”

Although several people have been ousted from the program, Lobson said single women have been hit the hardest.

“I think the families that were really affected were single women in particular, and definitely couples that have had some health issues.”

Predictability a plus

There are several other countries where prospective parents can go for international adoption, but China’s program has an exceptionally strong reputation. Eamon Duffy, an adoptive father in Vancouver, said he was impressed throughout his experience with China’s program.
Family Services Adopton Agency
“The reason that we had looked at China was that it was a proven model in terms of how adoptions work,” he said.

Another factor in China’s popularity is Vancouver’s multicultural environment, which is thought to be ideal for raising an Asian child.

“Vancouver is a wonderful place to bring up an Asian child if you’re not an Asian family,” Power said. “And just having so many Asian people in the communities really, really does help (the child) see themselves reflected in the community.”

Lobson agrees, and said much of China’s notoriety is due to the fact that Vancouver has such a high population of Chinese families.

“Families I think felt it was a really good place to adopt from because the children that they would adopt would still be connected to their culture.”

Where do we go from here?

Despite the attraction to Chinese adoptions, people’s willingness to go with another program may depend on their determination to become parents.

“Some people feel more comfortable with one culture or another culture…it just depends,” said Power. “But usually people, if they really, really want a child, they will try (to) at least approach some of the other areas. And it may be that if they’re too difficult for them for whatever reason, they may just say, ‘well, I have to look at life differently.’”

Lobson said that some families have given up already.

“I think they felt pretty defeated, pretty deflated,” she said. “I think that some families do look at other options…and then we’ve also had families who’ve given up and just said ‘well, that’s it…I’m not going to be able to adopt.’ Because they’ve really had their heart set on adopting a child from China.”

Last year in B.C., adoptions from China accounted for 80 of a total of 263 international adoptions.

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China-Babies Research

Road to adoption frustrating, rewarding

'I feel very close to him; I couldn't ask for anything more'

By Patti Zarling

Mason Bowers is a smiley, happy 3-month-old baby who doesn't want much more than cuddles, kisses and a warm bottle.

Melissa and Shawn Bowers' road to Mason's adoption has been a long one.

And they are not alone. The 2000 U.S. Census, the first to collect data on adoption, counted 2.1 million adopted children in the U.S. About 1.6 million were younger than the age of 18, representing about 2.5 percent of the total 64.6 million children in the group. In Wisconsin, 30,583 of 1.278 million children younger than age 18 were adopted, about 2.4 percent, according to the census.

The Bowers, of Green Bay, have a 5-year-old son and tried for about three years to have a second child, but couldn't, even with the help of treatments, Melissa said. That's when they considered adoption.

They worked with a pregnant woman who was interested in giving her child to the Bowers, and they paid about six months' worth of doctor bills, rent and other expenses before the woman eventually decided to keep the baby.

"I was done," Melissa said. "It was really devastating. But we just continued … I'm glad we didn't give up."

But they connected with Mason's mom, a 25-year-old woman in Texas, when she was about four months along and kept in touch with frequent phone calls, Melissa said. Mason was born in August, and the couple brought him home about a week later.

His biological mother "knows me, she knows my family, we took her out for lunch," Melissa said. "I still send her pictures. But they say it slows down … I hope for his sake some communication continues."

Melissa said she worried how she would bond with Mason.

"We had a birth child," she said. "And I knew how close I was with Maxwell. … I wondered, 'Am I going to have the same feelings? Will I bond with the baby?'

"But it was almost a lot of wasted energy. I feel very close to him. I couldn't ask for anything more."

And Maxwell is proving to be a proud big brother.

"He plays with him all the time," Melissa said. "He says 'Go to Texas and get your own baby.' He just laughs whenever he sees him."

The average adoption takes about a year and costs between $18,000 and $25,000, according to Kim Garner, president of Wisconsin-based Community Adoption Center Inc. Expenses vary depending on the medical and personal costs adoptive parents may need to pay for the birth mother and travel expenses.

A low-end independent adoption might cost $10,000, Garner said, while international adoptions can range from $20,000 to $40,000.

Melissa said the Bowers considered adopting a foreign baby, but she wanted a newborn. They also worried about difficulties bringing home a foreign baby and traveling overseas with a small child at home.

Overall, foreign adoptions have fallen about 15 percent in the last two years, according to State Department figures for fiscal 2007.

While foreign adoptions may be on a downturn in the U.S., experts say domestic adoptions are going strong.

Although adoptions from countries such as China and Guatemala might be dipping, those from other nations, like Ethiopia, are on the rise, Garner said. Her organization handles all sorts of adoptions: independent, in which parents already know the birth mother, domestic, international and special needs.

In Wisconsin, birth mothers lose their rights in two to three weeks; one of the reasons the Bowers chose San Antonio is because in Texas the mother loses those rights within 48 to 72 hours.

"I think there's always a fear of the unknown and also a fear of the birth mother changing her mind," Garner said.

Once a family brings home the baby, Garner's agency remains the guardian of the child for six months.

After at least three home visits, the adoption is finalized in court.

Garner encourages families to be open-minded and flexible when adopting.

"There's more mixed race babies than healthy Caucasian babies," she said. "But there are still quite a few babies out there."

The Bowers plan to be open with Mason about his adoption.

"Obviously, he doesn't look like us," she said about her Hispanic son. "We'll tell him, 'You didn't grow in my tummy, but in my heart.'"

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China-Babies Research

Visiting Xiao-Ling's former orphanage in China

Alex's Notes: Interesting blog entry from a couple on the ground in China. They have some great pictures at the original entry, link at the bottom of the post.


Visiting the Orphanage

At breakfast this morning and driving around Sanya, we became well aware that this is not just a resort town for Chinese nationals, but for Russians as well. Half the signs around our hotel are in Cyrillic, as well as a lot of signs in town. We saw Russians everywhere, and the most complicated Russian word I know is "мороженое" - ice cream. Not very useful. So we may not be the only Caucasians in town, but it's probably be a safe bet that we're the only Americans.

But today's big event is that we visited Xiao-Ling's former orphanage this morning, where she spent much of her early life. Meeting some of her friends and the "aunties" who cared for her, the visit was bittersweet to say the least.

As we went from room to room, meeting kids our daughter's age to younger kids to infants, I was overwhelmed by conflicting emotions. Sadness that anyone should have to go to an orphanage in the first place got all mixed up with relief that it was a good place as orphanages go, as well as a million other feelings. Looking at the kids abandoned for a whole slew of reasons, I found myself sobbing with a loving desire to adopt every single one of them, and sobbing with the realization that we can't. My head knew perfectly well what we could and could not realistically do, but my heart still had a ways to go.

After Jacquie mopped me up and my heart caught up with my head, the orphanage staff took us to lunch at a restaurant in Sanya. This was most definitely not the sort of restaurant frequented by tourists who play it safe from a culinary sense. No, this was real Sanya cuisine, and we were made aware of that fact right out front.

Yes, those are real fish in real fish tanks, which diners pick out individually. Our hosts selected a red snapper, which was cooked and brought to our table thusly:

On the one hand, the fish was delicious. On the other hand, it wouldn't stop looking at me. I swear it had a reproachful look on its face, telling us, "Why me? I have a wife and guppies at home."

The rest of lunch was face-free and ranged from a papaya soup to a tasty green vegetable to a rich beef-with-peppers mix, not to mention several other dishes. It was only when we were stuffed like geese that the meal ended.

We made a good impression on the staff - they see clearly that we love our daughter very much and would help all the children there if we could. I like to think we helped the cause of Chinese adoption today.

And finally - Happy Chanukah from China!

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