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International Adoption Essay Research Paper The birth (стр. 1 из 2)

International Adoption Essay, Research Paper

The birth of a girl has never been a cause for celebration in China, and

stories of

peasant farmers drowning newborn girls in buckets of water have been

commonplace for

centuries. Now, however, as a direct result of the one-child policy, the

number of baby

girls being abandoned, aborted, or dumped on orphanage steps is


Adopting Internationally

Adoption is procedure by which people legally assume the role of parents

for a

person who is not their biological child. Adopted children become full

members of

their adopted family and have the same legal status as biological children.


the majority of people who adopt are married couples, many single people

also adopt.

Many people seek to adopt when they discover that they cannot give birth to

biological children. Others adopt children to add new members to a family


includes biological children. Many people adopt simply to give a home and

family to

children who might not otherwise have them. Likewise, children become

available for

adoption for a variety of reasons. Some children are orphans. Some


parents make arrangements for their children to be adopted because they

cannot care

for them due to illness or personal problems. Other children are abandoned

by their

biological parents (Adoption, CD-ROM).

Adoption is a common practice throughout the world and throughout history.

However, laws regulating adoption vary from country to country. People

seeking to

adopt in a country other than the one in which they live, a process known as

international adoption, should familiarize themselves with the laws of that


Similarly, although every province recognizes adoption, provincial laws


specific aspects of adoption vary.


A significant number of people seek to adopt children from other countries,


process known as international adoption. People seek to adopt abroad for



reasons. Many people want to adopt an infant or a very young child. Some


hope to adopt children who share their ethnic heritage. Such prospective

parents may

find a shortage of suitable children available for adoption in Canada.


regarding the availability of infants in a particular country also

encourages some

people to seek to adopt there. Many people adopt abroad because of


regarding domestic adoptions, especially fears that the birth mother will

refuse to

proceed with an arranged adoption after she gives birth to the child. In a


well-publicized cases in the United States, biological parents have

attempted to

reclaim their child years after it was adopted, adding to the worries of


parents (Adoption Services, Internet).

Three methods can be used for international adoption. The majority of

prospective adoptive parents use an adoption agency. Others consult


facilitators in Canada. Some prospective parents choose to establish direct

communication with contacts in a particular country. Many


adoption agencies place children from other countries. These agencies are


with the adoption laws of foreign countries and usually maintain contacts in


where many children are waiting to be adopted. Agencies send information

about the

adoptive parents directly to their contacts, who then locate an appropriate

child for

the adoptive parents (Adoption, CD-ROM).

Facilitators in the United States also help prospective parents locate


children abroad. Facilitators usually have foreign contacts who help

resolve legal

issues pertaining to adoption in a particular country. In some cases,

facilitators travel


to other countries and directly assist in adoptions. Prospective parents

can also work

with facilitators in another country or deal directly with foreign

institutions, such as

orphanages (Adoption, CD-ROM).

People who wish to adopt abroad must follow the procedures and requirements

of the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration (CCI). Before an international


can go forward, the results of a home study and extensive documentation must


submitted to both the and the courts in the child’s country of origin.


documentation usually includes birth certificates, marriage certificates,

letters of

employment, medical letters, and personal references (Americans Adopting,


The legal process in the child’s country of origin results in either a full

and final

adoption or a guardianship, in which the prospective parent is granted

custody of the

child until the adoption is finalized. If a full and final adoption has been

approved in

the child’s country of origin and the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration


permitted the child to enter Canada, parents can usually get a Canadian


certificate and citizenship papers without readopting the child in the


However, the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration recommend readopting in

Canada. When a guardianship is established in the child’s country of


prospective parents must complete normal pre-adoption procedures, such as a


study, in their local county court in order to obtain a visa for the child.

The adoption

must be finalized when the child comes to live in Canada.

All adoptive parents worry about the health of their adopted children. In


developing nations and in some countries of Eastern Europe, poor medical


can lead to health problems among young children. Medical records may be


unavailable or incomplete. Prospective parents should consult a physician


the health of the child they are seeking to adopt prior to the adoption.

After a child

has been adopted from abroad, parents should try to find a pediatrician who


familiar with the medical conditions in the country in which the child was

born. Many

local hospitals in Canada have doctors on staff who are well-versed in this



Additional issues arise when adopted children come from a different culture


their adoptive parents. Adoptions in which the adoptive parents and their


child are of different races, known as transracial adoptions, pose special


When children belong to a different race than either of their parents,

others in the

community very quickly become aware that the children are adopted.


adoptive families often face everything from innocent curiosity to outright


and prejudice. Many adoptive parents educate themselves about their child’s


culture so that they can offer their child support and help build

self-esteem (Wong,

Globe and Mail).

Some people believe transracial adoptions should be allowed only as a last

resort or banned altogether. Other groups feel just as strongly that race

should not be

a consideration in the placement of children. In 1994 United States

Congress passed

the Multiethnic Placement Act, which forbid adoption agencies from


separate waiting lists to match children with adoptive families of similar

ethnic or

racial heritage. However, the act permits agencies to consider ethnicity and

race as

one factor in determining the best home for a child (Frequently, Internet).



In 1979 China initiated the "One-Child Population Control Policy". This


that their could only be one child per couple. Women’s menstrual cycles


publicly monitored, and they had to have there pregnancies authorized. All

unauthorized pregnancies were terminated by abortion when detected

regardless of

what stage the pregnancy was in.. They use forceps to crush the babies

skull, or they

inject a pure formaldehyde into the soft cap of the baby’s head during or

upon birth.

These are their means of "aborting" fully developed babies. Drowning or


occurs in rural areas. All women with one child have a mandatory insertion

of an

IUD. A one size large steel "O" ring IUD is used. There is mandatory

sterilization of

couples with two or more children (One-Child, Internet).

This policy created a high rate of infanticide and abandonment of female


because in accordance with Chinese tradition, daughters join the families of


husbands upon marriage and are seldom able to offer support or care for

their parents

in old age. By 1990 thousands of ultrasounds machines were being imported


China. Domestic factories in China began manufacturing at the rate of 10

000 a year.

In 1993 authorities banned the use of ultrasound for the purpose of sex

selection, but

the ban seems to be virtually unenforceable. Reports of sex ratios at birth

for some

areas has been 300 males to 100 females. A 1991 article in a Shanghai


warned that if the sex ratios continued to rise, by the end of the century

China would

have an army of bachelors numbering some 70 million strong (One-Child,


Official data on abortions show the annual number of abortions increased

between 1985 and 1990. Official data on birth control surgeries after 1990

are not


available. In 1983, the all-time peak year, family planning work teams

carried out 21

million sterilization’s, 18 millions IUD insertions, and 14 million

abortions (79

percent of the 21 million sterilization’s performed were performed on women)

(One-Child, Internet).

Women who resist abortions for unauthorized pregnancies are harassed,


repeatedly, and sometimes held by family planning workers until they comply.


raids have occurred to capture women hiding or trying to flee from the birth


workers. If a couple does have an unauthorized child the fines are so big

that they

often exceed the family’s total income. The illegal children (unauthorized

births) are

not entered on the population register so the child receives no medical

benefits, no

grain rations, no opportunity to attend school, and no chance for employment

(One-Child, Internet).

A man and his child stand in front of a billboard that advocates a policy of

one child

per family in China. The Chinese government’s campaign for one-child

families, along

with its promotion of birth control and late marriages, has slowed the

growth of

China’s huge population (China, CD-ROM).


(China, CD-ROM)

Because of this policy there are an exceptional numbers of children in


waiting to be adopted.


The birth of a girl has never been a cause for celebration in China, and

stories of

peasant farmers drowning newborn girls in buckets of water have been

commonplace for

centuries. Now, however, as a direct result of the one-child policy, the

number of baby

girls being abandoned, aborted, or dumped on orphanage steps is


It is impossible to overstate both how crucial the one-child policy is to


stability and how rigidly it is enforced. Everyone agrees that if the

population, already at

1.2 billion, is allowed to grow, the result will be economic collapse,

environmental ruin,

famine (Hilditch, World Press Review).


But while most Chinese citizens can accept the mathematics of the problem,


population continues to rise. Every year, some 21 million children are

born. In March,

President Jiang Zemin was forced to set new, tougher population control

policies and

tougher punishments for those who ignore them (Driedger, Maclean’s).

According to author Steven W. Mosher, coerced abortions, sometimes just


before the baby is due, are now commonplace, as are reports of enforced

sterilization and

of hospitals fatally injecting second babies shortly after their birth.

This means, Mosher

says, that "however overcrowded China’s orphanages are now with baby girls,

the problem

is going to get worse. Very much worse."

For Kate Blewett, producer of The Dying Rooms, the investigation was a


into the heart of darkness, "I did not know human beings could treat

children with such

contempt, such cruelty. Some of the orphanages we visited were little more

than death

camps." (Hilditch, World Press Review).

To protect the Chinese who helped the team that gained access to orphanage,


documentary does not name any of the orphanages. In one, a dozen or so baby

girls sit on

bamboo benches in the middle of a courtyard. Their wrists and ankles are

tied to the

armrests and legs of the bench. A row of plastic buckets is lined up

beneath holes in their

seats to catch their urine and excrement. The children will not be moved

again until night,

when they will be lifted out and tied to their beds.

They have no stimulation, nothing to play with, no one to touch them. In


scene, a handicapped older boy walks up to one of the girls tied to a bench

and begins

head-butting her relentlessly. The girl doesn’t move or make a sound.

Such is the lack of


stimulation for the children that few of them will ever learn to speak. An

endless rocking

is the only exercise, the only stimulation, the only pleasure in their


An official of the orphanage says the orphanage had some 400 inmates last


They were kept five to a bed in one airless room. The summer temperatures

soared to

around 100 degrees. In a couple of weeks, 20 percent of the babies died.

"If 80 children

died last summer, there should be 320 left," Dr. Blewett says to one of the

assistants, "but

there don’t appear to be more than a couple of dozen children here. Where

are the others?"

The girl replies: "They disappear. If I ask where they go, I am just told

they die. That’s all.

I am afraid to ask any more." (Driedger, Maclean’s).

Brutal neglect is the common theme of many of the orphanage scenes. In


sequence, a lame child sits on a bench near the orphanage pharmacy. It is

full of

medicines, but none of the staff can be bothered to administer them. The

child rocks his

skinny body listlessly back and forth. .

The worst orphanage is in Guangdong, one of the richest provinces in China.

When the documentary team arrived, there were no children to be seen or

heard. Then

from under one of the blankets laid over a cot, there was the sound of

crying. Lifting the

blanket and unwrapping a tied bundle of cloth, their was a baby girl. The

last layer of her

swaddling was a plastic bag filled with urine and feces. The next cot was

the same, and

the next and the next. Many of the children had deep lesions where the

string they were

tied with had cut into their bodies. One child, described by staff as

"normal," was

suffering from vitamin B and C deficiencies, acute liver failure, and severe

impetigo on her

scalp. All the non-handicapped children were girls.


The Chinese government was approached several times, both in Beijing and at


London embassy, to provide comment or an interview for the film.

Eventually, the

documentary’s producers received a two-page letter from the London embassy.

"The so-called dying rooms do not exist in China at all," the letter read.


investigations confirm that those reports are vicious fabrications made out

of ulterior

motives. The contemptible lie about China’s welfare work in orphanages

cannot but

arouse the indignation of the Chinese people, especially the great number of


workers who are working hard for children’s welfare."(Adoption, CD-ROM).

The day after the program was shown, questions were raised in the House of

Commons about China’s one-child policy and its dying rooms. Predictably,

however, no

one has raised the subject of providing massive aid for a collapsed and