Welcome to No Place Like Home.

This blog is a place for information, answers and support for families who are considering international adoption, waiting or are home with their children. My name is Kimberley and I am the coordinator of this site. This blog is truly a network of families who are willing to support others along their journey to their child. The blogs listed on my sidebar are arranged by country and these families have volunteered to act as a resource to anyone who needs one. These are amazing people who are dedicated to helping families who are on the journey to their children in another country. If you are looking for someone to talk with or if you have a blog and would like to be available to help others, please feel free to e-mail me at timnkim@gmail.com.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

China Quake Orphans

Adoption inquiries soar after China quake orphans children

Young quake survivors sing during performance therapy for children at a camp for the displaced and homeless in Mianzhu in southwest China's quake-stricken Sichuan province.
By Frederic J. Brown, AFP/Getty Images
Young quake survivors sing during performance therapy for children at a camp for the displaced and homeless in Mianzhu in southwest China's quake-stricken Sichuan province.
Adoption agencies are receiving a surge in phone calls from people who want to adopt children orphaned by the earthquake in China.

"There's lots of interest," says Joshua Zhong, co-founder of Chinese Children Adoption International, one of the largest China-only agencies in the USA.

He says inquiries have more than tripled since the May 12 quake, which has killed at least 68,109 people and left an estimated 4,000 children without parents.

Zhong's agency and others, however, are trying to lower callers' expectations. They cite two reasons: Many of the children may not be orphans once parents or other relatives are found, and more Chinese people are adopting


"We intend to give priority to domestic adoption … over overseas adoptions," says Wang Suying, a senior adoption official at China's Ministry of Civil Affairs.

As in the USA, phone lines are humming in Beijing as people inquire about adopting quake victims. Wang says the high call volume reflects the growing acceptance of adoption in China, where it was once taboo. "Every year there are more and more domestic adoptions," Wang says.

That interest, along with a strong economy that makes it easier to support children, has meant fewer Chinese orphans are available for international adoption.

Last May, China tightened its eligibility rules, barring foreign applicants who are single, gay, obese, older than 50, low-income or have a history of mental illness.

China had been the No. 1 foreign country for adoptions by people in the USA since 2000. Now it is sending fewer orphans: 5,453 in 2007, down from 7,906 in 2005, according to the State Department.

Wang, who has visited the disaster zone in Sichuan province, says adoption work won't begin right away. He says officials first need to try to find a child's parents or other relatives.

A similar outpouring of interest in orphans occurred after the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, says Thomas Atwood, president of the National Council For Adoption, an advocacy group. Atwood says many Americans wanted to adopt the children, but the countries in the region, except Thailand, did not have international adoption programs. He says that's also the case with Burma, devastated by a cyclone three weeks ago.

Several orphanages in China were damaged by the earthquake, and adoption agencies in the USA are sending relief aid.

Kerry Campbell, spokeswoman for the Great Wall China Adoption, a large, China-only agency, says people who adopted from China or would like to adopt have made donations.

"I'm touched by how generous families have been," she says.

1 comment:

Jewels of My Heart said...

This just makes me so sad...... I just pray that these children find their families if they are still living and that the Lord opens the doors for ALL of the true orphans to come home to their forever families whether they are in China or somewhere else in the world....
God's Speed little ones..... God's Speed