By Will Ahern, Staff Writer
Over the past 10 years, 52,759 children have been adopted from China by families in the United States. As a proud father of an adopted child from China who is almost 14, the experience has been incredible. For many parents, adoption is the only way to build their families and for others, adoption is a loving way to extend it.
Ten years ago adoption from China was still a smooth and relatively quick process. After a rigorous home study that checked into all aspects of your life, your packet was delivered to the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) to be logged in and soon matched with a child with no known health issues. I recall it was between 6 and 9 months later that you received your referral and off to China you went to receive your newest family member.
Fast forward to 2012 and things have really changed. In 2011, 2,587 Chinese were adopted in the United States. In contrast to the peak year of 2005, which saw the adoption of 7,903 Chinese children. Families completing their adoption of a healthy child in 2011 have waited often afrustrating five and a half years. By some estimates, a family seeking a healthy child from China starting today might wait 11 years!
China's booming economy, affluence and an apparent diminishing of the stigma of adoption have made domestic Chinese adoption a strong option. According to Snow Wu, President/CEO of Great Wall China Adoptions, "The rise of domestic adoptions in China, and families' ability to pay for the penalty in order to have more than one child reduces the children available for U.S. adoption" Happily this finds more homes for children in their home country. Snow further states"China adoption will not cease except that the adoptions will be focused on finding homes for children with special needs or children aged 8 to 13".
Children that have special needs are still waiting to be adopted in China. Some of these needs include relatively minor and correctable situations as well as children with more profound needs. According to Molly Rochon at the Children's Home Society of Minnesota, "When parents come to us for an adoption we strongly encourage them to be open to a special needs child." Parents willing to accept a child with special needs or a waiting child might travel to China in within a year after their application is accepted by the CCAA.
More information can be found at:
Great Wall China Adoption: http://gwca.org
Children's Home Society: www.chsfs.org