Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A First-Hand Account of Chinese Adoption

Jacob Sullum has a great piece over on reason.com. Here's an excerpt:

Karin Evans, the author of The Lost Daughters of China, wants to think the best of these parents, especially the mothers. Rather than say her Chinese daughter, whom she adopted in 1997, was abandoned at the market where she was found, Evans prefers to think “she was ‘delivered’ to safety in that busy place—so clearly was it her mother’s intention to save her.” [Author and adoptive parent Kay Ann] Johnson, who became the mother of a Chinese girl in 1991, soon after the Chinese government began to allow such adoptions, is less sentimental. She notes with dismay that Americans sometimes refer to their adopted Chinese daughters’ abandonment as the Chinese equivalent of “an adoption plan.” She points out the obvious: that newborns left on their own, even in busy areas, are highly vulnerable, and many do not survive.

Yet the parents of these children often find themselves in difficult situations, as reflected in this note quoted by Evans, which accompanied a baby abandoned, like Mei, in Hunan province: “This baby girl is now 100 days old. She is in good health and has never suffered any illness. Due to the current political situation and heavy pressures that are difficult to explain we, who were her parents for these first days, cannot continue taking care of her. We can only hope that in this world there is a kind-hearted person who will care for her. Thank you. In regret and shame, your father and mother.”

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