Saturday, December 18, 2010
What does this mean in the China adoption world? I was mistaken in that I thought it meant that when a child turned 14 years old they were evicted from the orphanage and turned out onto the street.
What it really means, is that a child is no longer available for adoption.
So what happens to the children who grow up in orphanages? We know that some, horribly, do end up on the streets doing whatever they can to survive, and others, working menial jobs with terrible working conditions and barely any money for it. Some, however, and it's a growing number, have some higher education and find better jobs. Many children, and I don't know what percentage, are trained in something that can support them.
My agency's China coordinator and his sister grew up in an orphanage. Several girls right now, through various charity organizaitons, are being sponsored so that they can attend nursing school. Some have become teachers. Some have ended up working in the orphanage they grew up in, becoming an ayi (aunty) and caring for the children.
I just read a story about an 11 year old girl who found the orphanage herself and begged to live there because her father beat her. They took her in and she says she's very happy now. She goes to school and is doing better than she did with her father by far.
I am not trying to paint a rosy pictures of life in an orphanage or life after growing up in an orphanage, but to give examples of improved situations for abandoned Chinese children and show that there is hope for them.