I can’t tell you how many times I hear “Aren’t they ALL girls?” when I’m talking with a friend about adopting from China. We have 3 boys in our family already & have been dreaming of adopting a little girl since before ANY of those boys were born… But now that we’re finally looking for one, it seems there are almost MORE boys than girls on all the pages of ‘waiting children’ faces that we scroll through. There are still girls, but it’s definitely changing to be more & more boys. Most of the kids available also have some amount of ‘Special Needs’ now, which means healthy babies are being kept… or sadly, not being born at all, as the availability of ultrasound has made abortion a more popular choice. Of course, there are a million other reasons people all across the world “give up” or “abandon” their babies. Just a few days ago there was a story in our local paper about a precious 1 day old infant ‘found’ right here in Hong Kong. She seemed to be perfectly healthy & was believed to be from Southern Asian parents & the authorities are searching for her relatives.
The truth is, a lot has changed in the last 20 years since international adoption from China first became an option. The most drastic changes have come in just the last decade, where China went from being mostly a rural country with 85% of the people living & working on farms, to a swiftly growing metropolis nation with millions migrating to new & growing cities. Now only 50% or so are still on the farms. This makes for a lot of economic change. People can better afford their children, they are closer to better health care for ‘imperfect’ kids & they have discovered that daughters can find paying jobs in cities – making them a more useful member of the family. As of June 2011, there were over 712,000 orphans in China, a 24% increase since 2005… More & more kids are being born with birth defects, likely due to these new cities & more factories, coal mining & other pollution. (Understanding the Situation in China)
All of this & much more results in a new, different population of children being abandoned & available for adoption. Then we have to remember that not every orphan in China is even listed as available, only the ones the orphanage directors THINK foreigners will actually want. Many older kids or ones born with “unadoptable defects” are not listed at all… In looking into this, I have found a great blog series by the folks at “Love Without Boundaries”. If you are interested in all the recent changes & the reasons behind them, check out what these blogs have to say: The Changing Face of China’s Orphans – 1/3, Changing Attitudes – 2/3, The adoption of Boys – 3/3.
When you think of China, pray for the orphans & the families looking for them. We’re praying through the profiles as I type, searching for the ONE that God has set aside & prepared for us. One day we will find her & then we will rescue her from a life of loneliness & abandonment, adopting her into our little family full of love & boys. The very same way God adopted each of us into His family of unconditional & unchanging love!
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” -Romans 8:14-16