Friday, December 17, 2010

Healthy Preschoolers in China SWIs?

As I look at children on all the lists and advocacy sites, I wondered what happened to the "healthy" children ages 3-10, who used to be the Waiting Children. I asked a person who is with one of the charity organizations in China and she said that in the last four orphanages she's visited, there aren't any more "healthy" children. She said that they are the ones that have been adopted during the past several years. What she said she sees the most now are 80% boys with special needs and the rest girls with special needs.

This is consistant with what I have been seeing on the current Shared List of children. The majority of them are boys.


Karen said...

I don't think anyone but officials in China would know the REAL answer. But I have suspected for years now, that these children are being raised in foster homes (or in SWIs, without being paper ready, therefore not adoptable), so that China will have the majority of "healthy" children as they get older, to work in the factories (or other production work). China has created a double edged sword by acquiring the one child policy. It keeps some people from having children, but it also causes a gender imbalance. And with IA, people are always willing to adopt the healthy girls from the SWIs, by the time we had adopted Cadence, there were more SN children left in the SWIs than healthy children-BUT there were still MANY MORE healthy children than China was letting on. I saw it first hand. So, I believe, by slowing down the healthy child program, they were able to purge the SN children out of the SWIs, leaving healthy girls to grow up IN China. (This sounds really harsh, and it's now how I look at the SN program, but my feeling is, this is how the officials in CHINA view the SN program). Of course we will never hear about the healthy girls being raised in China, or know what happened to them. They will never be paper ready to adopt, including most of the older "healthy" girls. They will become someone's wife, and work in factories. Harsh realities all around, both about SN children being unwanted in China, and keeping the healthy girls locked in, without a family-when having a family in China is EVERYTHING culturally.
I have NEVER believed that there are less healthy girls, just that there are less PAPER READY healthy girls in SWIs or foster homes, being raised to adulthood.
And the main problem is, if China were to lift the one child policy now (any more than it already has done) there would be a baby boom bigger in China, than when we ended WW2. So, they can't just lift the policy.
When we adopted our first daughter, and visited the SWI, there were a LOT of seemingly healthy toddlers and babies in the SWI, but if you looked on the adoption websites, we were hearing news left and right about the SWIs being void of healthy children, same as you hear about now.
The Chinese government is not run by stupid people. They are great business people, and they are intelligent, and they know how to run a successful business. IA had become a successful business for their needs, and when it became too successful they realized they were removing all the healthy children, they figured out how to make it more successful by removing the SN children, and now they have also figured out how to keep the healthy children, without lifting the one child policy, by not making them "paper ready" and not showing their faces to those interested. These healthy girls will grow up to be productive citizens for the Chinese government. And we will never know about them. Sad....but true. China has always run a harsh government so I am not shocked. These are my own speculations but it makes perfect sense when you change your way of thinking of the country, as a profitable and productive business instead of people (as we tend to in our own culture). That's not to say it's full of cruel people. But, it is true that success is their main focus. The success of China is their number one focus, the happiness of it's people is less important than the success of its people.

K said...

We'll never know for sure what's going on with the abandoned children in China, but I do know that if you'd seen the child I've been trying to adopt, you'd NEVER be able to tell that she had a serious special need, and that's true for a very, very large portion of the children with special needs.

For example, conditions such as:
Anemia and other blood disorders and metabolic disorders, HepB positive, gastrointestinal disorders, disorders of sexual organ development, some spinabifida, deafness, many heart conditions, and some developmental and chromosomal conditions, to name a few.