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Old 12-20-2006, 08:48 AM   #1
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China's New Rules On Foreign Adoption

I wonder what's next, sure seems like a slippery slope to me-especially given the situation there with girls and poor families. What exactly constitutes a "most qualified family"?



By JOE McDONALD, Associated Press WriterTue Dec 19, 8:51 PM ET

China is imposing new restrictions on foreign adoptions, barring applicants who are unmarried, obese, over 50 or who take antidepressants, according to U.S. adoption agencies.

The restrictions are meant to limit adoptions to "only the most qualified families," said the Web site of one agency, Harrah's Adoption International Mission in Spring, Texas. The agency said China has pledged to try to make more children available to those who qualify.

The move comes amid a surge in foreign applications to adopt Chinese children. The United States is the No. 1 destination for children adopted abroad, but the number going to Europe and elsewhere is rising.

An employee of the government-run China Center of Adoption Affairs, the agency that oversees foreign adoptions, said it has issued new guidelines but refused to confirm the details released by the American agencies. He wouldn't give his name.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Beijing said it was looking into reports of the new regulations. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with embassy rules.

Americans adopted 7,906 children from China in 2005, raising the total since 1989 to 48,504, according to the Joint Council on International Children's Services in Alexandria, Va., an association of adoption agencies and parents' groups. The group's Web site lists 110 U.S. groups that arrange adoptions from China.

Under the new rules, only people who have been married for at least two years will be eligible to adopt, according to Harrah's, the New Beginnings Family and Children's Services Inc. of Mineola, N.Y., and Families Thru International Adoption Inc. of Evansville, Ind.

Beijing previously allowed adoptions by unmarried foreigners.

The agencies said Chinese officials told them about the rules at a Dec. 8 meeting in Beijing. They take effect May 1.

Among other restrictions, couples must have a Body Mass Index — a measure of obesity — of no more than 40 and be aged 30-50, with people up to age 55 considered for children with special needs, according to the agencies.

The rules bar parents who take medication for psychiatric conditions including depression and anxiety or have a "severe facial deformity."

The China Center for Adoption Affairs has said it is trying to increase the number of children available by creating a new charity to improve conditions in orphanages and "keep infants and young children alive and well enough to be adopted," Harrah's said.

Many Chinese children adopted abroad are girls who are given up by couples who, bound by rules that limit most urban families to one child, want to try for a son. Others are left at orphanages or by the roadside by unmarried mothers or poor families.

A sharp increase in foreign applications for adoption has led to a backlog in approvals, with waiting times rising from six months in early 2005 to as much as 15 months now, according to adoption agencies.

Keith Wallace, head of Families Thru International Adoption Inc., said he is advising families that the rules go into affect for all applications submitted after May 1 and that those already in the adoption process should be exempt from the new restrictions.

"They still have time" to get their applications in before the May 1 deadline, he said.

Wallace said the new rules will likely narrow the pool of applicants for adopting Chinese babies but because demand already far outstrips supply, this would only shorten the 14-15 month waiting period.

"It will have an impact. I don't think it will necessarily have a major impact because there are still a lot of people wanting to adopt," he said. "There is a positive aspect, the wait will not be as long for families who do meet the criteria. It will cut down on the waiting list."

Wallace said he has received some questions about the new rules, mainly from those who have already started the process.

"We explain that it's China's right to set restrictions," he said. "You and I might not agree with a particular one, but we will respect it," he added.

"A lot of people are trying to portray this as a negative thing but I don't see it that way. All states have criteria. China is not doing anything that is out of the ordinary. Their criteria are well thought out ... very fair and very consistent."

Asked if he felt barring people with severe facial deformity was fair, Wallace replied: "I'm not sure that was translated correctly. A lot of things get lost in translation."

Timothy Sutfin, executive director of New Beginnings Family and Children's Services Inc., said his agency was advising applicants that in light of the new rules "if you have a difficulty, maybe Vietnam or some other program would be more beneficial than putting your application forward on a Chinese adoption."
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:11 AM   #2
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My cousin adopted a Chinese girl. I don't think it's right for them to exclude people who take anti-depressants. Ditto for obese people. They're excluding potentially loving, caring parents.
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:16 AM   #3
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China really likes to piss me off.
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:19 AM   #4
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I think South Korea already has some of these restrictions.
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:11 PM   #5
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I can at least understand the thinking behind most of these restrictions, except why the hell would facial deformities make a difference?
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:45 PM   #6
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Also people who are unmarried. I know several lesbian couples, also a single woman, who adopted chinese babies 12-15 years ago. These girls (they are all girls, it seems, but that is another sad topic) are incredible young women and keeping it to married people is tragic. But I guess there are plenty of other countries with many orphans in need of help.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:57 PM   #7
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My parent's neighbor adopted a baby girl from China. I'm sure she was over 50, never married, and always wanted a child. Kate is such a darling girl and her mom has gone to such great lengths to educate her about her birthplace. She's only ten and already spent a summer in China, even doing home visits.
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:01 PM   #8
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If you have to use a pole to leverage yourself out of your armchair to go feed your kid, then maybe you shouldn't be able to adopt one in the first place.

Also, old people (obviously 50+) have small bugs and organisms living on them which can harm children.
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:09 PM   #9
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I wonder if we are adopting Chinese people it´s amazing how many chinese have been comming to my country these days, I think it´s because of the crazy politics we have rigth now
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Canadiens1160
If you have to use a pole to leverage yourself out of your armchair to go feed your kid, then maybe you shouldn't be able to adopt one in the first place.

Also, old people (obviously 50+) have small bugs and organisms living on them which can harm children.
So should overweight people who already have biological children have them taken away from them? Or maybe they should be sterilized..

I would have much rather had an overweight father who was a great father than the normal weight one I have

Same goes for the age issue- yes there are health concerns and lifespan concerns,but are the kids better off living by the side of a road?

I don't know what you mean about the bugs
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:55 PM   #11
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Great.... what're Angelina Jolie and Madonna gonna do now?
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:43 PM   #12
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^ China lost their business long ago. Adopting from China is so 1992. Now sub-saharan Africa is all the rage, don't you know!
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:37 AM   #13
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I know a couple who adopted a little boy from China a few years ago. They are an older couple, so were only eligible for a special needs child.

The kid lucked out -- he got really great, loving parents. He's getting medical care he would never have gotten in China too. And the parents lucked out too as they have a sweet little boy.

Looking at the new rules I think the father in this family would have been too old under these rules, and that's a shame. Looks as if several of us know people who are great parents who would be excluded by these new rules.
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Varitek
^ China lost their business long ago. Adopting from China is so 1992. Now sub-saharan Africa is all the rage, don't you know!
Pshaw! Malawi is so July! Now we be taking the kiddies from Eritrea - that shiz be hotxxx!
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