In summary, locating birth parents in China is possible if the circumstances are right. Private finding locations such as residences and small stores have a high degree of success. Finding locations in small villages also bring a good degree of success. Seeking local hospital records might provide information, but these inquiries must be made quickly before records are archived or destroyed. But adoptive families must also remember that even when the search proves successful, the birth parents might leave the discovered door closed and locked, unwilling to allow the connection to be made.
Jane Leidtke says yes:
I have watched the faces of the parents who attend my talks about “What’s in an
Orphanage File” as they listen to what information is inside (and sometimes not inside) the file. I see interest and agony as we discuss how information in the file can lead to finding the abandonment site. We sigh a collective sigh of grief when we discuss the notes and messages found within the files. And, I see huge tears fall from both moms and dads as I share the story of one family who followed the trail and how that trail led them down a special village path, to the door of their daughter’s abandonment site, to the people who found her and that those people know her birthparents.
I remember talking to Adam Pertman, author of Adoption Nation and director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a few years ago, and bemoaning the fact that it just wasn't possible in China to find birth parents. I can still hear his answer echoing in my ears: "That's what they told Korean adoptees thirty years ago. You want to bet that in thirty years we'll find out that the government of China knows much more about birth parents than they're letting on?" What an intriguing thought!
So, perhaps it could be done. But should it be done? How does one decide? I'll post more later, but your thoughts right now?