International Adoption: it’s even more complicated than you thought

From today’s New York Times, a followup to their August article on international adoption trafficking.

But many parents saw China as the cleanest of international adoption choices. Its population-control policy, which limited many families to one child, drove couples to abandon subsequent children or to give up daughters in hopes of bearing sons to inherit their property and take care of them in old age. China had what adoptive parents in America wanted: a supply of healthy children in need of families.

As Mr. Mayer reasoned, “If anything, the number of children needing an adoptive home was so huge that it outstripped the number of people who could ever come.”

This narrative was first challenged in 2005, when Chinese and foreign news media reported that government officials and employees of an orphanage in Hunan had sold at least 100 children to other orphanages, which provided them to foreign adoptive parents.

Mr. Mayer was not aware of this report or the few others that followed. Though he knew many other adoptive families, and was active in a group called Families With Children From China — Greater New York, no one had ever talked about abduction or baby-selling.

“I didn’t even think that existed in China,” he said.

Again he paused.

“This comes up and you say, holy cow, it’s even more complicated than you thought.”

Read the entire article here.

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