The People's Republic of China is one of the largest countries in the world and is home to one fourth of the world's
population. The Chinese have traditionally claimed a history of some 5000 years, yet ancient legends tell of emperors who
ruled China for thousands of years before this period. Until recently, China was a mystery to most westerners; however
since closer relationships are developing between the United States and China, travelers are discovering an ancient and
awesome civilization. Visitors can now experience the China of the Chinese People.
From the capital in Beijing, the Chinese government rules 21 provinces and
five autonomous regions. The land stretches from mountainous regions with towering peaks, including Mount Everest which
lies on the China/Nepal border, to gentle rolling hills and flat plains which are divided by many of the country's
longest waterways including the Yangtze, Yellow and Mekong Rivers.
In an effort to control its population growth, China implemented its well-publicized one-child policy in 1979. Although successful at curbing the population growth, the policy reinforced the practice of abandoning newborn girls. In China, sons are favored because they carry on the family and they are responsible for taking care of their parents in their old age. While many provinces in China no longer enforce the one-child policy, 95% of the children abandoned today are still female. The abandonment of children continues to be illegal in China. As a result, the majority of Chinese children who come
into care have been abandoned anonymously, usually in a public place where the child will be found quickly and safely.
Although the abundance of
girls is one reason families choose to adopt from China, boys are also available for adoption. Children born out of wedlock, whether boys or girls, might face abandonment due to society's unfavorable view toward unwed mothers.
China's adoption program is considered one of the best international adoption programs in this country. The Chinese government has established a relatively more stable way of working with international adoptive families. Unlike other foreign countries that shut down or suspend their adoption program from time to time, China has kept the adoption program relatively steady and going for almost a decade. Established in 1996, the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA), the central authority overseeing all China adoptions, is responsible for providing a stable and structured adoption process for adoptive parents. Orphanages and adoption agencies must be approved by and registered with the CCAA in order to place children.
Our desire to adopt a baby girl, and to have a secure, stable adoption process has lead to our decision to adopt from China. Also, we both feel a very strong connection to Asian cultures, and China has always fascinated us. We look forward to learning more about the Chinese culture and sharing this knowledge with our daughter.