Saturday, June 30, 2007

Not Quite Off the Deep End

Two weeks of "swimming lessons" ended this week for Ally. I put that in quotes because it appears no actual swimming, per se, was accomplished. That's not to say it wasn't fun. At her level, they learned to stick their head under water, blow bubbles, jump off the side of the pool into someone's arms, float on their back while being held, use a kickboard, etc. Ally really took to it, and even tried to do a "sort of" swim stroke in the kiddie pool afterward, with her feet touching the bottom.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Georgia Adoption Story

From China with Love: Dearing family completes adoption process
They were born a half of a world and several decades apart, but in only three months, the two have bonded as one.

"I never knew I could love such a tiny person so much. ... I had no idea how big, big, big this kind of love can be," said Shari Upchurch.

Mrs. Upchurch and her husband, Todd, traveled to China at the end of February to bring their new baby daughter, Elizabeth Ann, home to Dearing.

Jeff Gammage interview on NPR

Terry Gross interviewed Jeff Gammage, author of China Ghosts, on NPR's "Fresh Air" yesterday. You can listen to it here.

Katha Greer Rennison: 1969 - 2007

Despite disease, CPS worker made the most of her life
Knowing she had a deadly disease, Katha Greer Rennison enjoyed life to the fullest, which meant spending time at home with her two young daughters and husband.

Years ago, a friend invited Katha Rennison to an adoption agency meeting. After the meeting, she was convinced that she and her husband would adopt a girl from China.

The couple adopted Hannah, now 7, in February 2001. Shortly thereafter, Katha Rennison told her husband that Hannah needed a little sister.

Richard Rennison said he told his wife they couldn't afford another foreign adoption. She insisted, saying "20 years from now the money won't mean anything. Twenty years from now, I won't be here but Hannah will be here and she needs a sister."

In December 2003, the couple adopted Zoe, now 4, from China, as well.

Rennison became ill in March, and doctors predicted she wouldn't leave the hospital. But she did. She died June 18 at her League City home with her family. She was 37.

"Talking With the Moon Princess"

For UA grad student, short film winningly explores real-life story
University of Arizona grad student Priscilla Hefley made a stirring short film about her adoption called "Talking With the Moon Princess."

Hefley's whimsical 17-minute drama, which mixes documentary and animation in exploring the circumstances that led her Chinese parents to give her up for adoption, won the March 2007 Tucson Lunafest, a film festival devoted to films by and about women.

Hefley, 26, who was born in China and raised in San Antonio, is going for her master's in business administration. She's exploring a career in the movie industry.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Status of Chinese Adoption in Holland

"Adoption becoming more difficult"
AMSTERDAM – Prospective parents who would like to adopt a healthy young child have to wait eight to ten years currently. Waiting times have never been this long, Trouw reported on Wednesday...

Developments in China have contributed to the long waiting times. More children worldwide are adopted from China than from any other single country.

China signed The Hague Adoption Treaty at the beginning of this year, in which it pledges to first look for adoptive parents within its borders before sending children abroad. Far fewer children are being brought to the Netherlands from China as a result, Trouw reports.

Religious Oppression in Shaanxi, Shandong

Group: China detains 8 church leaders
Police have detained eight leaders in the country's unauthorized Protestant church movement on charges of violating rules on religious activity, a Texas-based monitoring group said Wednesday.

The detentions came earlier this month in the northern provinces of Shaanxi and Shandong, the China Aid Association reported.

Pastors Zhou Jieming and Niu Wenbin were picked up on June 9 while distributing religious literature in a market place in Shaanxi's Jiaocheng County, along with 10 other church activists, said the Midland, Texas-based group.

While the others were released, Zhou and Niu are being held on "suspicion of using evil cult to obstruct of the enforcement of the law" — a charge authorities use to punish those worshipping outside official Communist Party recognized religious groups.

China: Observations of an Economist

China growing old before it grows rich
"You see [China's aging society] just by walking down the street. There are hardly any children. It's eerie. The one-child policy has been in place for three decades and China is heading into a snap demographic transition - they've created an aging society, but they haven't put into place any social welfare system or any pensions.

"They allowed state enterprises to jettison pensions. There's no formal safety net, and they have put an end to the informal safety net of the extended family. No wonder they save so much. It's all precautionary.

"Who knows what all of this will do to China as the family structure of thousands of years comes to an end?"


China has consciously crafted its own authoritarian destiny for the past half century, relying always on coercion to compel progress. Millions of expendable people died in the Great Leap Forward (1957-1960), the Great Famine (1960-1965), and the Cultural Revolution (1967-1977). Millions more have died in the one-child policy (launched in 1978) - in abortions performed for the sole purpose of eliminating girl babies, in post-natal abandonment, and in outright killing. (Abortion is free in China, available through the ninth month of pregnancy.)

In its 2000 census report, China reported that it now has 120 male births for every 100 female births; in some parts of the country, it said, there are 135 male births for every 100 female births; other authorities have put the ratio at 150:100. By 2025, the country expects it will have more than 40 million adult bachelors for whom wives will not exist. Meanwhile, China permits adoption abroad of 12,000 abandoned girl babies a year - 8,000 alone, ironically, to the U.S.

As everyone knows, and knew in the 1970s, the only policy that China (or any other country) ever needed to limit population growth was economic growth. This economic mechanism offers the additional advantage of gender balance. China now officially recognizes that it has a huge problem - but officially maintains its barbaric, coercion-first approach.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In China, Marxism Jumps the Shark

Marx loses currency in new China
Teaching socialism is mandatory, but learning it is monotonous for today's students, who revere money more than Mao.

Beijing — It was like watching a man try to swim up a waterfall.

Professor Tao Xiuao cracked jokes, told stories, projected a Power Point presentation on a large video screen. But his students at Beijing Foreign Studies University didn't even try to hide their boredom.

Young men spread newspapers out on their desks and pored over the sports news. A couple of students listened to iPods; others sent text messages on their cellphones. One young woman with chic red-framed glasses spent the entire two hours engrossed in "Jane Eyre," in the original English. Some drifted out of class, ate lunch and returned. Some just lay their heads on their desktops and went to sleep.

It isn't easy teaching Marxism in China these days.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ohio Family Q&A on International Adoption

Bucyrus family a source for international adoption agency
Jodine and Frederick Keller of Bucyrus are local contacts for international adoption listed on the Children's Hope International Web site.

The Kellers have four children, one via international adoption.

We tossed a few questions about their experience and advice for those who may be interested.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

International Adoption in Australia

A couple of articles from today's Sunday Mail (Australia) that discuss how weight plays a factor in international adoption, and not just from China:

It's no way to measure love
LOOKING at this happy little girl, it's impossible to accuse Tony and Rhondda Dunne of being unfit parents.

But according to Queensland's adoption rules, that's exactly what they are.

Both have Body Mass Index scores of more than 30, which means they are classed as obese, and in the eyes of adoption officials may not be suitable parents.

When the couple adopted Hannah from the Philippines two years ago, Tony was forced to lose 15kg before their application could be processed.


Love goes to waist
OVERWEIGHT couples desperate to adopt are being told they are too fat to make good parents.

Governments in South Korea, Taiwan and China have banned obese couples from adopting because they want "the most stable and harmonious environment" for children.

South Korean and Taiwanese guidelines say couples with a Body Mass Index of 30 are unacceptable.

China recently introduced a similar rule for people with a BMI of 40.

BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in metres, squared.

All Queenslanders with a BMI of 30 wanting to adopt have tests for cholesterol and diabetes regardless of the country involved.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Iowa Clinic Helps IA Parents

Aiding those adopting kids from abroad
When Shannon Sullivan adopted daughter Julia from China, she had trouble finding a local physician with the "interest and expertise" to deal with a baby who came from a foreign country. Julia, now 12, had spent her infancy in an orphanage.

Sullivan, a clinical assistant professor in the UI Children's Hospital pediatrics department, found herself lost in the process of foreign adoption - especially when it came to health issues.

"I started reading about it myself, and finally found a physician who was willing to stumble around with me," she said.

But her initial struggle led her to eventually form a multidisciplinary and multiservice clinic for parents who also choose to adopt from another country.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Current State of IA

Doing what's best for adopted kids
China and Russia are further advanced in the adoption cycle. In the case of China, there are far more prospective adoptive parents than children available for adoption. Appropriately, the Chinese government has implemented more selective standards for income and health status, seeking parents it judges to be best able to provide for a child's long-term needs.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Baby Trafficker Caught

Police arrest woman linked to China baby trafficking
A woman in China suspected of being involved in the trafficking of 118 baby girls has been arrested after four years on the run, state press reported Tuesday.

Ji Xiulan, believed to be aged in her 60s, had been a fugitive since the trafficking ring was busted in 2003 but was arrested in a village in central China's Henan province on June 15, the Beijing Times reported.

Ji was suspected of having been involved in buying trafficked babies from southern China's Guangxi region, the report said.

The 2003 arrest of the ringleaders of the gang exposed a network of trafficking in baby girls that spread from Guangxi to Henan, Anhui and Hubei provinces in central and eastern China, the report said.

The case broke when police found 28 drugged and tied-up baby girls -- none over three months old -- in bags on board a bus bound for northern cities. One of the babies died while being smuggled, reports at the time said.

In July 2004, 54 people from Yulin city in Guangxi region were convicted of trafficking 118 girls between 2001 and 2003.

Two people from Yulin were sentenced to death over that case and more than 100 outside Guangxi were convicted, of whom at least one was executed, state press reports at the time said.

The case has been linked to China's "one child" family planning policy that has sharpened traditional values preferring boys over girls and leading to many mothers selling or giving away their baby daughters in the hopes of later having a son.

Many defendants in the case refused to admit wrongdoing, insisting they were providing a humanitarian service as many of the trafficked girls went to childless couples in cities, earlier press reports on the scandal said.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

A couple of stories, appropriate for today:

Scituate dad gets swing of things
Dave McCowan of Scituate, whose youngest child was adopted from China in December, may work full time, but he doesn’t let that keep him from his family.

“Just to be able to see them through the day is a huge plus,” said McCowan, who works from home about two days a week.

The software engineer said fatherhood slowed his work schedule a bit since he and his wife, Susan, adopted their youngest daughter, Anna, who was 10 months when the family brought her home from China through Wide Horizons, an adoption service in Waltham.


Follow the following link to read an excerpt from Jeff Gammage's book "China Ghosts":

Becoming her father
I thought that when I became a father I would know things.

Not everything. But some things.

I thought that being placed in charge of a child would instill in me the knowledge that other parents - my own - seemed always to possess. That by becoming a father, the best choice, the logical selection, would now be obvious.

Instead, those right, rational choices remain as elusive as ever.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Zagats: Bring on the Chinese Chefs

Nina and Tim Zagat say we don't know what we're missing when Chinese chefs can't come to this country because of visa difficulties:

Eating Beyond Sichuan
TWENTY years ago, American perceptions of Asian food could be summed up in one word: “Chinese.” Since then, we have developed appetites for Korean, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese fare. Yet while the quality of the restaurants that serve these cuisines, particularly Japanese, has soared in America, Chinese restaurants have stalled. For American diners, the Chinese restaurant experience is the same tired routine — unimaginative dishes served amid dated, pseudo-imperial décor — that we’ve known for years.

Chinese food in its native land is vastly superior to what’s available here. Where are the great versions of bird’s nest soup from Shandong, or Zhejiang’s beggar’s chicken, or braised Anhui-style pigeon or the crisp eel specialties of Jiangsu?


[T]he lackluster Cantonese, Hunan and Sichuan restaurants in this country do not resemble those you can find in China...Without access to key ingredients from their homeland, Chinese immigrants working on the Central Pacific Railroad in the 1860s improvised dishes like chow mein and chop suey that nobody back in their native land would have recognized. To please the naïve palates of 19th-century Americans, immigrant chefs used sweet, rich sauces to coat the food — a radical departure from the spicy, chili-based dishes served back home...

But today, getting ingredients is no longer an issue. Instead, the principal obstacle to improving Chinese fare here is the difficulty of getting visas for skilled workers since 9/11.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

NPR: "This I Believe" on Adoption

Becoming a Parent Is a Gift
I no longer believe my wife and I are going to have a baby the old-fashioned way, but I no longer think this really matters. I believe in adoption now. Four months ago, the Chinese government accepted our dossier. In the next year or two, a little girl will be born and her parents will not want her. My wife and I will fly to China to meet this girl and bring her home with us.

I don't think children in China are abandoned because their parents don't want them. Mostly, it's due to a societal preference for male children and the oppressive one-child policy. It has nothing to do with not being wanted.

China's New Rules (w/Video)

This link to a EuroNews article is based on the article in the previous post, but it contains video of the swearing-in ceremony in the U.S. Consulate as well as other scenes from around Guangdong:

Tougher Chinese laws could reduce adoptions

I think there are some factual errors in the story, e.g., I don't think one of the new rules is that you have to own your own home.

New Regulations Leave Many Undeterred

Despite new laws, China still an adoption magnet
China has been the No. 1 choice for U.S. foreign adoptions for the past six years, according to the U.S. State Department. Beijing says four-fifths of foreign adoptions in the past decade involved American families...

But the regulations have been criticised in the United States, where the divorce rate is about six times that of China and where thousands of single mothers have already provided homes for Chinese babies.

In 2006, Americans adopted 6,493 children from China, the largest number of any country, while in the past 21 years U.S. parents have adopted 55,446 Chinese children.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Future Son-in-Law Might Look Like Me

That's too bad, I had higher hopes for Ally.

The way to a girl's heart: look like the dad, win the daughter
Scientists have discovered that women who have close relationships with their fathers are drawn to men who resemble them.

China Ghosts

An adoption story with beautiful depth
China Ghosts
My Daughter's Journeyto America, My Passage to Fatherhood

Reviewed by Huntly Collins

One out of three American children who are adopted from abroad come from China. For the most part, these are baby girls who have been abandoned because of the Chinese government's one-child policy and the deep-seated Chinese cultural tradition that the oldest son is to care for his parents in their old age. This oddly female Chinese diaspora, which began in the early 1990s, has changed the face of many communities in the United States as Chinese-born American girls join other children on playgrounds, at school and in church pews and synagogues. The oldest among the girls, those adopted in the first wave, are now graduating from college, moving on to find their place in the rich diversity of the American tableaux.

In China Ghosts: My Daughter's Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood, Jeff Gammage, a reporter at The Inquirer, tells the touching story of his own adoption of Jin Yu from an orphanage in China's Hunan Province in 2002. Like many American couples, Gammage and his wife, Christine, decided to adopt after being unable to conceive children themselves. Into their life came Jin Yu, who was left as a newborn in an alleyway in Xiangtan, a city just south of Changsha, the provincial capital. She spent the first two years of her life in a local orphanage before she was adopted. A few years later, the Gammages went back to China to adopt a second daughter, Zhao Gu, 11 months, who came from an orphanage in Gansu Province in western China. The family now lives in Elkins Park.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Thoughts on the "Sopranos" Finale

International Adoption in Iceland

Iceland Adoption Society looks towards Africa

The Iceland Adoption Society is investigating the possibility for Icelandic parents to adopt orphans from Africa. For the last few years many children have been adopted from China, but now new regulations are delaying the process.

“We are looking to other countries, including African countries like South Africa and Ethiopia,” the managing director of the Iceland Adoption Society Gudrún Sverrisdóttir told Bladid.

“The waiting period in China has been prolonged extensively. The Chinese government says it is because of an increase in applications and because fewer children are abandoned than earlier,” Sverrisdóttir said.

Last year six Chinese children were adopted by Icelandic parents, but 35 the year before.

It Had to Happen Eventually

Too many Wangs as China runs out of names
The world's most populous nation is running out of names, according to a Chinese government report.

According to popular folklore, Chinese people should take their surnames from a list of 100 names.

But as the country's population continues to soar, the excess of Wangs, Lis and Zhangs is leading to confusion.

There are now 93,000 people called Wang Tao alone, the China Daily newspaper said in reporting the review by the Ministry of Public Security, the police service, which handles identity registration.

Friday, June 08, 2007

West Virginia Adoption Story

Ms. Jarrell's New Daughter
While Diane Jarrell's adoption of her little girl from China has brought so much joy to her and her sixth grade class at Beverly Hills Middle School, it's also been a difficult journey.

"The trip was harder than I thought. As excited as I was, I wanted Sarah there and that was so hard," Diane Jarrell told NewsChannel 3.

Sarah was Diane's first daughter. She adopted her nearly ten years ago from China, just after her first birthday. However, at age eight, Sarah died from a viral infection. It didn't take long for Diane to set to work fulfilling Sarah's dream to adopt a little sister from China.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Parents get plane diverted during exam
BEIJING - Parents in eastern China have pushed to get a plane diverted to avoid disturbing their children taking nationwide university entrance exams that could make or break their futures, state media reported Thursday.

Xinhua News Agency said the students are taking their two-day exams, which started Thursday, at a school close to Huangshan airport in Anhui province.

Their parents, worried noise from an aircraft taking takeoff would mar the English comprehension test on Friday, appealed to the local education department and the airport decided to divert the plane.

Across China, about 9.5 million students are taking the entrance exams, competing for 5.67 million spots. It will be the only chance for most of the students to get into a university.

Forced Abortions Grounds For Asylum

Court Grants Asylum Over Forced Abortion
(AP) A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that women who are forced to abort their pregnancies by governments such as China's can be awarded asylum in the United States.

Courts previously have allowed victims of forced sterilization to seek asylum here. On Wednesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the same protection should be given to victims of forced abortions and their spouses.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Chinese Students: Sweatin' to the Oldies

Dance classes to be mandatory for Chinese pupils because of obesity concerns
Dance classes soon will be mandatory for Chinese elementary and secondary students because of worries about increased obesity, news media reported Tuesday.

China Daily newspaper said in a front-page story the dance classes - "to suit the physical and psychological characteristics of students at all ages" - will become compulsory from Sept. 1, quoting a notice from the Education Ministry.

It said the dances will be performed during class breaks or during extracurricular time.

Not everyone is convinced. Another article about this story offered a word of caution from this teacher in Beijing:

"[L]etting students waltz will create hotbeds of adolescent love. That is not good. Schools work very hard to prevent students from falling in love too early."

Tango, maybe. Waltz, probably not.

Baby Theft in China

Sad. Too bad the perps got away.

5 newborns found in stolen car in China
BEIJING - Chinese police pleaded with the public Wednesday for information about five newborn babies discovered in the back of a stolen car.

The three boys and two girls, all about 10 days old, were found in the backseat of a black four-door sedan when police stopped the car at a toll booth in north China's Hebei province on Sunday, said Zhang Lianying, the director of Nangong city's Highway Patrol.

Police have confirmed the car was stolen two weeks ago in Shanghai, 700 miles south of Nangong, Zhang said. But he said they have been unable to identify any of the babies...

China has a thriving trade in babies that are stolen or bought from poor families and then sold to couples who want another child, a servant or a future bride for a son...

When police tried to question the driver, he and another male in the passenger seat refused to get out or roll down their windows. A minute later, they suddenly jumped out brandishing knives and ran away, Zhang said. Police chased the men but failed to catch them, he said.

Zhang said that once police found the five babies in the backseat, they were immediately taken to a local hospital, where doctors said they were in good health and all about the same age...

Thousands of babies are also abandoned every year in China. Many are girls given up by couples who, bound by rules that limit most urban families to one child, want to try to have a son. Others are left at orphanages or by the roadside by unmarried mothers or poor families.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

New Olympic Sport: Find a New Home

Beijing to evict 1.5 million for Olympics: group
BEIJING (Reuters) - Some 1.5 million residents of Beijing will be displaced by the time it hosts the 2008 Olympics, many of them evicted against their will, a rights group said on Tuesday, prompting a sharp denial by China.

The Geneva-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) said residents were often forced from their homes with little notice and little compensation, as the government embarks on a massive city redevelopment to accommodate the Games.

"In Beijing, and in China more generally, the process of demolition and eviction is characterized by arbitrariness and lack of due process," the group said in a report.

After demolition, inhabitants were often "forced to relocate far from their communities and workplaces, with inadequate transportation networks adding significantly to their cost of living," the group said.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Party Girl

Ally went to a rare Monday birthdy party today. The theme was Fancy Nancy and apparently there was a contest to see who could consume the most sugar, because it's after 9 PM and she's no closer to falling asleep than I am.

Open House Follies

We had our first, and hopefully only, open house yesterday. It rained, of course, but it was a good kind of rain. Just light enough to keep people away from the beach or the pool but not hard enough to deter any intrepid open house warriors.

It got off to an inauspicious start, though. We were in the process of going through the house one more time to make sure everything was as it should be, i.e., no cobwebs in the corners, no recently expectorated hairballs lying on the rug, etc. (Why is it you see only flaws when you do this, as if all the improvements you’ve made will be overshadowed?) Mind you, this is at 12:45 and our agent hasn’t shown up yet. The open house is supposed to start at 1:00. Then the doorbell rings.

It’s not our agent. It’s a couple wanting to see the house. They apologize for being early, but my wife and I aren’t sure what to do. We called our agent to tell her there’s someone here and could she please hurry up and get here.

Then we left. Someone was in our house unsupervised for about five minutes. Our agent met them as they were leaving and I don’t think she got any information out of them. Hard to tell is an early arrival is a good sign or not; in this case, I think not.

After lunch, we went to the first of two open houses we knew about that would interest us. After the second, we realized we still had about two hours to kill, so we went looking for more. We were on a roll. It was interesting to see how people prepared their homes to be looked over by strangers who might want to buy it. I think ours stood up pretty well, it looks terrific. Even the garage is clean.

At the fifth open house, Ally announced to us that she had to go potty. What to do? At the time, we were in the finished basement of someone’s house while the selling agent was upstairs. I noticed a bathroom.

“Go in there”, I said.

Well, what was I supposed to do, let her soil herself? I rationalized that I wouldn’t mind if someone used my bathroom so why should someone else not be as nonchalant? The thing is, she had to go, uh, number two and there was no toilet paper. She used a Kleenex instead. I wonder if the agent noticed the toilet flushing.

So anyway, we get back home and found out we had four visitors, or groups of visitors. A couple of them sounded pretty interested. We’ll see.

A Somber Anniversary

18th anniversary of Tiananmen marked
HONG KONG - Survivors of the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing marked the event's 18th anniversary on Monday by demanding political reform in China. Thousands were expected to mourn the dead at a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong.

The day began quietly in the massive Tiananmen Square, where tourists gathered to watch a daily flag-raising ceremony amid tight security. Police usually quickly snuff out any memorials, and there were no immediate reports of protests.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Virginia Wine Tour

Good article in the Travel section of the Washington Post today:

It's Not Napa, but It's Near
For a Washingtonian, there's one very important thing about Virginia's wine country: It's a lot closer than California...

In a matter of decades, the Virginia wine industry has grown from oddity -- there were six wineries in 1979, according to the Virginia Wineries Association -- to, well, an industry, with 122 wineries as of last year. (California has 1,867.) And many are eager for you to visit. They really, really want you to like them.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Adoption Reunion in Branson, Missouri

Adopted Chinese children, families gather in Branson
A group of Branson entertainers are trying to ensure that a number of adopted children remember their roots.

The New Shanghai Theatre held its first reunion for American families from all over the United States who have adopted Chinese-born children.

Lizhi Zhao, the theater’s owner, said through an interpreter, that he was inspired to hold the event to help teach the adopted children about their heritage.

“This event is something we hope to make bigger and better each year, inviting more and more families,” Zhao said. “Eventually, when it gets big enough, we want to make it a day such as the ones that honor veterans.”

An Uncle's Perspective

Every precious Lily has a chance to bloom in God's family
By way of contrast, my niece Kim and her husband Chris have had another type of journey. For several years they have walked a long, arduous path to adopt a child.

Two years ago, they submitted a dossier to China for adoption.

Ten weeks ago, they got "the call." They were thrilled to hear that they were "the proud new parents" of a little girl, born last August and living in a Chinese Christian orphanage. They named her Lily Ming Min Haughee.

I didn't know that any orphanages in China were specifically Christian, the communist Chinese government being what it is.

Current State of International Adoption

Slowdowns in international adoption leave some waiting for baby
With difficulties in several key countries' international adoption programs, including China, Russia and Guatemala, local families are hunkering down for longer waits, considering different countries or taking a new look at domestic adoption...

Adopted children "are a gift from that country," Thogersen said. "Americans are not entitled to these children. Offices want to make the best decisions for the children.

"They're looking for families for children, not children for families," she said. "Sometimes that's forgotten."

Friday, June 01, 2007

Domesticated Panda Tormented by Bullies, Dies

Same old story: Socially naïve panda gets mixed up with the wrong crowd and ends up falling over a cliff:

Panda released into the wild dies
BEIJING -- The first panda bred in captivity and released into the wild has died in China of internal injuries apparently after a fall. Chinese officials said the body bore injuries inflicted by wild pandas, and that the animal may have died while trying to escape.

At the Root of the Guangxi Riots

China riots rooted in child policy, financial woes
BOBAI, China (Reuters) - Guan Yonglin has six children from two marriages, which, no matter how you look at it, violates China's long standing one-child policy. And he knows it.

That's why he paid a 2,000 yuan ($260) fine three years ago to his township government here in the gentle hills of the southern region of Guangxi.

Then this month, local officials delivered a terse one-page notice: for having five more children than the law permits, Guan owed the equivalent of more than $15,500 in fines.

"I already cleared this up by paying 2,000," he said. "I told them, 'This government of yours now wants 120,000 from me. Where am I supposed to get it?"'

Not surprisingly, he couldn't pay what amounted to about 45 times the region's rural annual per-capita income, so the Shuangwang township government seized the assets of the 53-year-old farmer-turned-construction contractor.