Why Americans Are Adopting Fewer Kids from China

adoptasianbabyAdopting a Chinese baby is nothing new these days in the United States. In fact, adopting a Chinese baby is fairly commonplace and has made it into mainstream popular culture, like Charlotte in Sex and the City adopting a Chinese baby named Lily. But according to Time, the trend is declining, and not because of Americans growing fear of China:

“While the Chinese government does not release domestic adoption figures, U.S.-based adoption agencies say more Chinese children are being adopted in China. “You have this cultural shift along with the economic shift, where more and more people cannot only afford to adopt a child, but culturally it’s more accepted,” says Cory Barron, foundation director at Children’s Hope International. Historically, adoption was neither socially acceptable nor a viable economic option for many families in China. But orphanages were getting crowded, prompting the government to open up to international adoptions in 1992 … A slow shift in gender perception may also be playing a role. While girls still make up 95% of children at orphanages, Zhong says that, too, has shifted. “People’s attitude toward having girls is changing dramatically,” Zhong says. “I have friends [in China] who have girls, and they are just so excited.”

I think it’s terrific that the Chinese public is more open to adoption and to adopting girls and not just boys. I’ve thought a little bit about the long-term implications of adopted Chinese baby girls growing up in the United States, which I imagine would be raised mostly by white families.

But the trend would also exacerbate the perennial question — and very popular 8Asians posting — on Why Asian Girls Go for White Guys and Stuff White People Like. I mean, if you are an ethnically Chinese woman raised in a white family from when you were a baby, I imagine that the likelihood she would be more likely to date and marry a white man compared to a Chinese American girl raised in a Chinese American family. And there is nothing wrong with that, except that it would just continue to fuel one of the most popular debates amongst the Asian American community regarding the imbalance of interracial dating between Asian American women versus men. But I digress.

The Time article goes on to detail that since more Chinese are adopting babies, China has instituted stricter requirements for foreign adoptive parents, since the adopting agencies can be a little bit more picky now with foreigners now that the Chinese are more open to adoption.

(Image source:  someecards.com.)

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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