Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New CCAA Rules Cause For Angst on Upper West Side

In an Adoption Hub, China’s New Rules Stir Dismay
The news last week that China was putting sharp restrictions on foreign adoptions landed harder on the Upper West Side than just about anywhere else.

The neighborhood has the nation’s highest concentration of adopted Chinese children, according to the group Families With Children From China. A bicultural social network has developed there that offers everything from ethnic-heritage training to Mandarin-speaking nannies to mother-daughter dumpling-cooking classes.

Now, some of the same demographic factors that made the Upper West Side an adoption capital — a tendency for women to want a career first and children later; an abundance of single people who can afford to support a child without a mate; a large gay and lesbian community — are considered deal breakers by the Chinese government.

The rules, which take effect in May, require an adopting family to be composed of a man and woman between 30 and 50 years old who have been married at least two years (or five years if it is a second marriage). They cannot be obese or have a net worth less than $80,000. And anyone on an antidepressant or other psychiatric medication is out, a rule sure to raise anxiety levels in a neighborhood where seeing a therapist is considered unremarkable...

About one-fifth of the Chinese adopted children in the country live in New York, said Families With Children From China, a support group founded on the Upper West Side in 1993 that now has chapters all over the United States.


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