Adopting Chinese Babies in Guangzhou, China
Have you been to Shamian Dao (Sand-faced island — not a real island. It is just a little tiny tiny tiny peninsula) in Guangzhou, where most of the US citizen services for the US Consulate in Guangzhou used to be?
On that island, it is (or was) pretty easy to run into a small army of baby adopting foreigners from the States. While I have nothing against people adopting, this is often the first and only time many of these people will set foot in China, and they don’t see much in their short group tour and shuffling between various Chinese bureaus and the US consulate.
I admire them for adopting babies that otherwise would go unwanted in China, but it is a little strange to be honest. I can’t explain why, you would have to go to see for yourself. If you are an adopting parent or considering adopting in China, please don’t be offended. (It seems they recently moved this service to the new US Consulate in downtown Guangzhou next to the train station.)
China – the adoption capital of the world
Why is China the adoption capital of the world for US adopters? (According to an article in The Wall Street Journal today, last year there were 7906 adoptions in China by US people, versus 4639 in Russia, the country with the second highest amount of US-adopted babies) Part of the reason is because there are still quite a few unwanted baby girls in China (which is quite sad, honestly).
Another part of the reason is because Chinese families often cannot bear having an albino child. Seriously. It seemed like the vast majority of the adopting families in China were either adopting a baby girl or an albino child. Which is fine, whatever, except that when you see this en masse it is a little scary.
Forgetting about China
These parents, while I am sure are doing this from the bottom of their hearts, often know very little about China. Which means the adopted baby will know little about China as well. Of course, they stand to have a much better life in America than growing up unwanted in China.
I sat down and talked to one of the families in a coffee shop on Shamian Island, and they were extremely friendly. They were from the Midwest (my father lives in the Midwest and most of my family is originally from there). Makes me miss the States just thinking about it.
Anyone else run into the large numbers of adopting parents in Guangzhou? Or maybe you are one of them or want to be one of them. If so, please remember I think you are doing a great thing. It’s just seeing so many of you together at once with many female and albino babies is a little unnerving.