Monday, July 9, 2012

China: Changing the "Usual" Story?

From Brian Stuy at Research-China, a post about the need to change the "usual story" of how our children made it to the orphanage in China:
So, here we were, eight years later, discussing some aspect of our research, and our youngest asked "Was I brought into the orphanage?" Before my wife or I even had a chance to answer, our oldest, Meikina, turned to her youngest sister and, with contempt on her lips, flatly stated. "Meilan, we were left on the side of the road by our birth mothers."

The contempt was not for her sister, but for the thought. Meikina viewed the idea that her birth mother had abandoned her on the side of the road with pure contempt. Meilan, confused by Meikina's answer, turned to me and asked, "Is that true?"

I used to think so.

* * *

The Hunan scandal served as the "paradigm shifter" that allowed future research and media investigations to reveal that issues of baby-buying, Family Planning confiscations, and other extra-legal methods of obtaining children were frequently and pervasively used by orphanages to procure children for adoption. First-hand accounts of birth families, foster families, Civil Affairs officials, and finders reveal that nearly every orphanage in Chongqing, Jiangxi, Hunan, and the other large supplying Provinces employs some manner of "incentive program" to recruit children into their facilities. Some pay money, others work with Family Planning, others make false assurances to birth families of education and other opportunities in order to have those birth families relinquish their children.

Thus, for the vast majority of children adopted from China, the official story of how they came to be in the orphanage is a falsehood, created by orphanage directors in order to be able to submit a child for international adoption. The description of their being found at the gate of some facility by some unnamed or named individual is almost always a lie. In the lion's share of cases, the children submitted for international adoption were "relinquished" -- given by their birth families to someone, who in turn brought the children to the orphanage. Only a small percentage of children were truly simply found abandoned.
I've posted before about my some of my doubts about the stories I was told about my kids' "finding."  How about you?  Do you have doubts?  Do you now have facts that contradict what you once believed?  How are you handling that in talking to your kids about their stories?


jj said...

Thought you might find this interesting:

Unknown said...

I recently read and reviewed a new book by Aminta Arrington, an adoptive mother to a daughter, Grace, who was born in China. Arrington's memoir, "Home is a Roof Over a Pig," tells her family's story of moving to China, where they still live 6 years later.

In one of the last chapters, Arrington discovers that the details of her Grace's finding story and the finder's identity are in fact false.

By the time the reader discovers this--following previous chapters about China, its politics, history, education system--the information doesn't seem so earthshaking, but a part of a larger picture.

Arrington herself doesn't express overt concern over the discrepancy. Previously, she has established a relationship with Grace's foster family, which is very meaningful for Grace and the family.

Here's a link to my review:

Jessica O'Dwyer said...

From Brian Stuy at Research-China, a post about the need to change the "usual story" of how our children made it to the orphanage in China:

Maybe the story is not true for non special needs children (that is a maybe and I think it depends on when you adopted). My husband was brought up in Hong Kong but his family is from Shanghai and they said it was common to find baby girls on the road, by police stations, hospitals (heavily trafficked areas) during the 70's and 80’s. He has cousins that were “adopted” that had been found in heavy pedestrian areas.

I believe the story we receive for our "special needs" children is probably true. I am also very suspect of Brian's work and the fact that he charges for it. said...

By "adopted" - I mean taken in by Chinese couples and raised at their own not international adoption.

Marianna said...

My 4 children were born between 1994 and 1999. I believe their finding locations and dates are mostly accurate, but they all have extremely limited info.
We were back at their SWIs in 2011 and one director had a different finding location than what originally was in her paperwork, a location in a much different area. Which to believe?

Lorraine Dusky said...

12Once again, I thank you for having the courage to post about the corruption in the Chinese adoption system.

My acquaintances who have adopted from China have turned a blind eye to any such stories; they don't want to hear them; they can't imagine they are true. For them, ignorance is bliss.

wm said...

I have lots of "facts" from many different sources indicating that my daughter's finding story is a total lie. It first started when I translated the 9 other finding ads in my daughter's group; she was 1 of 10 girls published from that SWI on that date. All 10 ads are amazing VERY similar; all girls born in summer of 2003, all girls between the ages of 4-6 months at abandonment; all 10 girls abandoned over the same 2 month period in 2004, the same 3 finding locations repeated, etc. If one uses common sense and probability, the chances of this occurring "by chance" is nil. That was just the tip of the iceberg for me. I've never understood by more adoptive parents, who have finding ads of other children included with their child's, don't have all the ads translated and see if they too, find too many similarities.