Tuesday, August 16, 2011

China: Adoption measures to be tightened

According to China Daily:
The government is toughening rules to tackle the scourge of child trafficking, including making orphanages the only institutions that can offer abandoned children for adoption, an official said.

"Illegal adoption", whereby adults can adopt without official registration, will also be targeted.

Enhancing the role of orphanages in the adoption process will better protect the rights of children and curb trafficking, Ji Gang, director of the domestic adoption department of the China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA), told China Daily.

The draft of the rules, due to be introduced by the end of the year, will force adults to go through official channels and reduce the demand for abducted children, he added.

The Registration Measures for the Adoption of Children by Chinese Citizens has been in place since 1999. It stipulates that a citizen can adopt a child from sources other than an orphanage if the applicant does not have any offspring and meets certain requirements in terms of age, health and financial status.

As a result, children have been adopted through various routes, such as hospitals and friends.

This was a system that allowed certain people to profit from adoptions.

According to the revised rules, to be worked out jointly by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and CCCWA, all abandoned infants and young children should be sent to orphanages for adoption, Ji said.
The rules are clearly directed at domestic adoption, not international adoption.  But it will also test China's commitment to domestic adoption over international adoption, I think.  With these rules in effect, I would think more children will end up in orphanages, rather than siphoned off into domestic adoption, both legal and illegal.  With more children in the orphanages, will the orphanages prefer the hard currency that international adoption brings?


Wendy said...

I agree, it seems to me that by forcing children to go through the orphanage setting there will be more corruption and money to be made. The supply for IA is so dramatically decreased, this is will replinish the pool.
What seems a good regulation is open the doors to more corruption and less domestic adoption to overinflated fees and competing for international cash by corrupt orphanage directors.

Research-China.Org said...

You and Wendy are of course correct, this move can be seen as a way to exert complete control over the children currently adopted informally in China. However, China has shown a real lack of ability to control such things in the past (see for example how many families rushed to register their illegal adoptions following those changes a couple of years ago). But clamping down on hospitals, etc., will increase the number of children available, and there is little doubt most of those will be channeled into the IA program.