Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kay Johnson Interview at O Solo Mama

O Solo Mama has brought us an enormously informative interview with Kay Johnson, author of Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son, discussing the documentary, China's Stolen Children, and a number of other issues in China adoption. Here's just a small nugget of information from Kay about domestic adoption in China:
Unregistered adoptions are revealed by looking at census data. In 1990, demographers estimated from sample census survey data that there were as many as 400,000 adoptions per year and that this number—as well as the percentage of
girls—was increasing. Couples often arrange “informal” adoptions secretly through friends or relatives. You know someone who is going to have an overquota child, and they know you want to adopt a girl, or someone helps find an adoptive family. After the adoption, the birth family may know where the child lives and may see her from afar though often the adoptive family doesn’t allow contact.

There are fewer registered adoptions because of the restrictive legal requirements (childless, over age 35 which has dropped to age 30). In 2000, when the legal age was dropped to 30, we know there were 50,000 registered adoptions. After that it fell. In 2001 there were 35,000 and it’s stayed around 35,000–45,000 every year. In 2008, there were 37,000 registered domestic adoptions. These are usually recorded as adoptions of foundlings but it could be your neighbour’s relative’s friend’s over-quota child who is hidden and then handed over to you—a childless couple over 30—to register as a foundling.

In the early 1990s, there were lots of real foundlings. Some orphanages would fill the hallways with cribs. There aren’t many foundlings now. There are some, but they’re few and far between, and so people who want to adopt find it harder to find them.
The whole thing is a must-read! Thank you, O Solo Mama, for bringing it to us. You've provided a fount of information for the China adoption community.


Jupiter Family said...

Happy New Year !!!

2010 New Year's Fireworks show

Louise said...

I thought abandoned children were the "foundlings"? If there aren't many foundlings, then where do the children who are adopted now come from?

osolomama said...

Thanks for the plug, Malinda. I hope if people have questions they come by and leave them. I'm sure Kay can dissect some of this language, which is confusing at times. The point she is trying to make is that fewer children are abandoned without some type of plan for them now--some are streamed into the orphanages thru incentive programs, some are trafficked, some are informally adopted. For a host of reasons, including abandonment of girls going down, there are just fewer true foundlings now than there used to be.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great interview. I have been wondering what Kay Johnson has to say about all this and now I know! Thanks!

Sue (aka anonymous)