I’ve had several people ask me when I tell them we are adopting, “Why China?” It’s a really good question, one that took us a long time to get to. Our first step was to actually decide to adopt, a decision that took a lot of time, thought, and prayer. We then had to decide between domestic and international adoption. We settled on international adoption for several reasons, the main one being we felt we had the resources in America to provide for a child from another country that didn’t have those resources.
So after deciding international, we had to settle on a country. Our first pull was actually to a Latin American country. Since we lived in Mexico, have so many good friends in Mexico, both know Spanish (although I’m slowly losing my Spanish every year), and Brian is a Spanish teacher, we thought it would be a good fit. But once we started researching Latin American countries, we realized there weren’t many that fit what we were looking for. We wanted to get a girl as young as possible, and many Latin American countries are either closed completely or only allow foreigners to adopt much older children. While we were looking at Latin American countries, we stumbled across China and thought we would look into it.
China has been open to American adoptions for over 25 years now. Because of that, the process is much more predictable than other countries. Although definitely not fool-proof, we liked that China has a trusted program, one that we can count on once we travel over there to pick up our daughter. We are going to *TRY* (big emphasis on try) and time our paperwork and see if we can get our daughter close to our summer break, giving us more time for bonding before I have to go back to work.
We also wanted a country where we could be fairly certain there was no child trafficking going on. We had read about countries where young, impoverished pregnant girls were forced to give up their babies so someone could make make money off of the adoption. In China, children have to be abandoned before they are put up for an adoption. There is also a myth that there are healthy baby girls sitting in Chinese orphanages because of China’s one child policy. Thankfully, China has relaxed this policy, and almost all healthy baby girls and boys are being adopted by Chinese families, leaving children with medical needs in orphanages. Although both realities break my heart, it means there is a very low chance there is any child trafficking happening. It also means we can really meet a need. So our plan is to adopt a little girl from China, as young as possible, with a correctable medical need.