Wednesday, January 03, 2007

CCAA Defends New Rules

China defends new adoption rules
BEIJING --China has defended new adoption regulations for foreigners that favor middle-aged married couples without physical handicaps, saying the rules were designed to help children and expedite adoptions.

The revisions have drawn criticism from U.S. adoption agencies and their clients who say that they are discriminatory and overly restrictive. The United States is the No. 1 destination for children adopted abroad.

Lu Ying, director of the China Center for Adoption Affairs, said the rules were aimed at guaranteeing "optimal family conditions" for adopted children.

"The new rules will help shorten waiting time for qualified foreigners and speed up the process for children, especially the disabled, so that they can go to their new families, where they can get better education and medical treatment, more quickly," Lu said in an offical report Wednesday.

The regulations, which take effect May 1, make it more difficult for overweight, single and "economically precarious foreigners" to adopt, while giving priority to stable, well-off foreign couples between 30 and 50, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

According to U.S. adoption agencies who were briefed on the rules in December, the new rules also bar parents who are wheelchair dependent, take medication for psychiatric conditions including depression and anxiety or have a "severe facial deformity."

Xing Kaimin, another official with the China Center for Adoption Affairs, told the China Daily newspaper that the revised criteria were devised to "protect children's interests and not to show prejudice against less qualified applicants, who can still apply."

Xing said overweight people were more likely to suffer from disease and might have a shorter life expectancy, which would impact an adopted child.


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