The Many Adventures of Keira!

This is our page to document our family's adoption journey- starting from when we first started planning for our little one, to when we brought her home. We're also going to keep this updated with all of the things that Keira has been up to since she's been home with us here in the U.S!

Monday, January 8, 2007

CNN on International Adoption

Although I personally missed the broadcast (not much of a CNN watcher), there was a big uproar about a show that Paula Zahn had regarding racism and International Adoption. Here is a link to the transcripts :

Anyway, apparently all people adopting from China are racists that adopt babies from there because of their lighter skintone and because we think they will be smarter. Even if it probably doesn't impact Dan and I as much considering that I am part Chinese, I am still VERY offended by the broadcast. On occasion we have gotten the questions on why Dan and I have chosen to adopt from China and not from either the US or the Philippines. I thought I would take a second to answer:

Why not domestic adoption?
I have to be honest in that Dan and I did not consider this as an option. Why?

1. Although we do know some families that have gone this route and had great experiences, we also both personally know people that have attempted domestic adoptions that have failed- multiple times. The process is very different in the US with trying to adopt where there is not a "waiting list" and where a referral is made after a period of time. In the US, you are competing with other families in hopes that a birth mother will choose you to adopt their baby. In other words, you could be waiting a short amount of time...or a LOOOOOOONG amount of time depending if you happen to be chosen over another family. The birth mother may also change her mind even after choosing you as the adoptive family for a period of time. This was such a scary thought for us. There was just too much uncertainty
2. Many times, although the birth mother has relinquished rights, there may be a birth father that was not aware of the baby that will now fight for custody with a very good chance of winning. You could have already adopted the baby and after a period of time, have to hand the baby back over.
3. Most of the babies and children available for adoption in the United States are African American. We would still be last in regard to consideration because we are not of African American descent- In China, although attempts are made to match a baby as much as possible to facial features and background, most of the waiting period is according to the time that your documents have been in China. There aren't priority levels given according to your race.
4. Heard of the recent case of the woman charged with kidnapping the twins that she put up for adoption after they were already placed and adopted by a family? Think that is the only time that an adoptive family has had to fight this? It is tragic for someone that has to give their children up for adoption for whatever reason. It is tragic for the families that have taken the children in as their own and adopted them. It is especially tragic for the children torn in this battle.

Why not the Philippines?
This was an option that Dan and I considered. As a matter of fact, this was our first path that we chose when deciding to adopt.

1. The wait times at the time when we were starting the quest were anywhere from 18 months to 3 years. This was shortened slightly if one of the parents is of Filipino descent- but not much. At the time, Chinese adoptions had a wait time of 6 months. Dan and I aren't exactly spring chickens now! We won't lie about it--We wanted to start our family as soon as possible and the 6 month wait was VERY attractive!

2. The cultural differences for adoption are vastly different in the Philippines than in China although there are always exceptions to the rule. In the Philippines, with the strong religious background, the general consensus is that your family stays together no matter what. Even if the family is deathly poor, they still try as much as possible to keep the family together. Because of this, the children that are available for adoption are usually a little older and were given up for adoption because of various reasons such as grave poverty or illness. The mother may have been a prostitute or raped causing alot of psychological issues. These of course aren't the only reasons, but they are some of the reasons. In China, the main reason why children are put up for adoption are simple--- they are girls. Because of the 1 child policy in China, many families give their girls up for adoption in hopes that the next child will be a boy- much of this being very painful for the birth mother. Boys are highly regarded in China because they generally are the family caretakers when their parents grow old. They are more "valuable". Boys are given up for adoption as well if they have health issues. Is it ALWAYS the reason and are there illnesses and other issues why children are put up for adoption?....SURE! The main reasons though are for correctible issues or because of their gender.

No, it is not because they are "smarter" than other children....No, it isn't because of their skintone. All in all, Dan and I have been through too much heartache in trying to start our family. Enough to where we wanted to protect ourselves and our baby that we adopt from as much pain as possible. That is your job as a parent. Everyone chooses the route that is best for them when it comes to adoption. These were some of the reasons that we chose the route that we did. Many people like to tell you what they think is best for you. I think that those people should pay attention to what is best for them and let others make the decisions that they make for themselves- Besides ALL children need homes and families to love them. All children, no matter whether they live here in the US or Internationally.

Dan will tell you it is because he wanted a baby with a nose like mine. I'll tell you he's crazy ;)

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