Sunday, November 27, 2005

Why China?

This is one question that keeps coming up so I will do my best to answer it. First and foremost, I have been asked why I was not interested in domestic adoption (thanks David). The answer is quite simple. The US does not have laws which truly support the creation of families. In most states the biological mother has 6 months in which she can change her mind. The way I see this, all parties are at risk; the adoptive parent in fear their child will be taken away, the biological mother who may or may not be able to truly relinquish her rights and an innocent child who can end up stuck between the adults. Domestic adoption is a non-issue to me. So why China? I considered several counties that have international adoption programs including China, Russia, Kazahstan, Guatemala and Vietnam. To start, Vietnam does not allow singles to adopt. Guatemala was initially a thought but I had more concerns about it than I realized. Like it or not, I was worried how a darker skinned child would fit into my life, my community and had issues for the child as well. I am not prejudice, but I also knew I had concerns and in the end that eliminated Guatemala as a choice. Russia too was a thought, after all I come from Russian ancestry. However there are a few factors which too made this an undesirable choice. Included among them is the cost (double China) and the fact that two trips are required to bring the child home. I do not think I could go to Russia, spend three weeks bonding with my child only to leave him/her for 3-4 months until an invitation to travel was received. Kazahstan is on the Russia/Asia border and has the most beautiful children but one must go there for 6 weeks while waiting to adopt. The other issues are similar to those in Russian children. In addition the prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome is extraordinarily high, as is other forms of positive toxicology, developmental delays and overall health. This is not to say that there aren't healthy children adopted from Russia every day but the risk for the aforementioned issues is high. All this brings me back to China. The Chinese government strictly regulates the adoption process for all of China. While some find this bothersome, I find it to be reassuring. Yes, anytime money is exchanged you run into possible "shady" problems but China seems to have less than most counties. They do allow singles to adopt but only 8% of all applicants can be single. In addition, all papers need to state that the applicant is heterosexual. What I'd like to know is who has been under my bed that can truly attest to this fact? (chuckle). There is a ton of paperwork that goes into the dossier; the packet that is submitted to China. Anyone interested in some of the specifics can go to So, back to China....the children are probably the healthiest of all countries. Remember, China still has a one child policy and offers incentives for such enactment. Therefore they want to be able to place these children and all pregnant women are given prenatal care equivalent to the US. China's babies are extremely healthy and receive medical care and immunization similar to the US schedule. However, Chinese medicine is practiced which does differ somewhat. To date, there has not been a child placed that ended up with HIV and the access to alcohol and drugs is much lower than in other countries. In China, the majority of children reside in orphanages (aka Social Welfare Institutions or SWI). Less reside in foster care but the children are very loved and cared for despite the extreme financial limitations. It is said that they have less than 10 cents a day to feed and clothe each child. Diapers are not used, but rather the children wear split pants in which there is a large hole in the seat and front. This is the reason for many skin problems including diaper rashes, fungal infections and related problems. Bear in mind, that culturally, the children are bundled up with little to no skin showing. This can result in minor gross motor delays from the sheer weight of the clothing they wear. Most children catch up within weeks of being with their new family. The SWI's do not have AC or heat. Now add one bundled up baby with no diaper. Get the picture? Other minor issues are rickets, cradle cap, and at times some level of malnutrition. I think I have written way too much today but will continue to offer some information that I think may be of interest to my readers. Until next time......

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Beginning

I have known for a long time that I wanted to be a mother someday. Someday has arrived and I am adopting a baby girl from China. I wanted to wait until I felt I had the resources; physically, emotionally and financially . I think I have prepared myself well other than the financial area. Is there ever really enough? So after much research, and soul searching I decided on two possible agencies to help me facilitate this adoption. On Yom Kippur of this year, I was accepted into the singles program at a well-known and highly respected organization. One thing you should know is that this is a honor. Only 8% of all applicants can be from single parents and my agency thought enough of me to approve my application. Now the paper chase begins. My dossier (a whole slew of required paperwork) is just about complete. I am waiting on some state clearances so I can complete my packet, which then needs to be certified by the state as well as authenticated by the Chinese Embassey in NY. Once that happens, I will be considered DTC (dossier to China) and my official wait will begin. I hope that this time next year I will be going to China to bring my angel home. My friends and family have been incredibly supportive and my father will be accompanying me to China. I will post entries here to keep everyone abreast of where I am in the process. Welcome aboard and feel free to leave comments in my guestbook. Someday I am sure SHE will enjoy reading what people had to say