Thursday, October 19, 2006

Chinese Adoption: A Cautionary Tale

The link below is to an article written by an adoptive parent from the UK who wishes to remain anonymous. The author apparently had a very negative experience with the adoption, from the "clinical" way in which the adoption was handled, to bonding issues, to lack of support from the social service system. All of this eventually resulted in the break up of the author's marriage.

While the author's experiences, in my opinion, are not typical of most adoptions, it should serve as a cautionary tale in that we never know what to expect when we adopt. It is stressful, not only for the parents but for the child as well. There occasionally are bonding problems, particularly with older children, as I suspect was the case with the writer of this article.

I found the following quote near the end of the piece troubling:

The more I read about it, the more I think that it is the wrong approach. People who adopt inter-racially are a little selfish and naive.

They think that they can offer a child from anywhere a normal upbringing but that often proves to be very difficult in reality.

There are many other ways to help orphaned children without taking them out of their world.
I don't see the need to generalize about all adoptive parents being "selfish and naive". Certainly, some are more than others, but I think (again, in my opinion) most people adopt because they do feel they can offer a child a better life than they would otherwise have had. I honestly don't know what happens to Chinese children who grow up institutionalized and are never adopted and I don't think I want to know. I can't imagine it's better than the life we're giving to our daughter, or that most adoptive parents are giving to their children.

It's still too early to tell what effect being adopted into American culture is having on Chinese children, as the oldest ones (and there are only a few) are just now entering college. Studies have considered the assimilation and well-being of Korean adoptees, who have been entering the country for over forty years now, and the results are encouraging.

'My international adoption struggle'


Post a Comment

<< Home