Friday, August 10, 2007

8-10 - Adoption in China

China Adoption

I'm only one, But still, I am one. I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. - Edward Everett Hale

China is a country of more than 1.2 Billion people, which happens to be 22% of the worlds population. In an effort to control the population the Chinese government places restricitons upon families requiring governmental approval for more than one child. This is referred to as the "One Child Policy". In some parts of China a couple must apply to the government and receive an authorized schedule when it is their turn to try for a pregnancy. The penalties for having unauthorized children are very severe, and consist of being fined up to one years wages, loss of a job, imprisonment, and social ostracism.

Girls are abandoned in China. Not because they are not loved by their parents and not because the birth mother does not desire to retain the baby, simply in most cases boys are preferred ans needed. Within the Chinese culture boys take care of their parents in lieu of social security, as China does not have a system in place to care of the elderly. The reason for the abundance of girls is that couples abandon babies that are not boys. During the pregnancy it is illegal in China for a doctor to provide the gender of a baby. It is feared and often occurs the mother will abort the baby if the sex is a girl. It is also illegal to abandon a child, but there is not a system in place that will allow a couple to hand over an infant when it is discovered to be a girl. Therefore, the only option left is for the baby to be abandoned.

Babies are abandoned in many different factions. Generally the baby will be left in a basket in a conspicuous location e.g. marketplace, orphanage steps, government building so the child will be found quickly. It is believed some mothers watch from a distance to ensure someone discovers the baby. The mother will sometimes leave a note with the birthdate, but most of the time nothing is left behind for fear of tracking the baby back to the parents.

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