Friday, December 22, 2006

China to change adoption rules

As has been reported all over the place, China has changed its rules for foreigners to adopt children. According to the articles, the changes are in response to the overwhelming number of foreign applicants seeking to adopt orphans in China--currently applicants outnumber orphans.

I understand China's desire to tighten their current rules (which are apparently pretty lax), but one restriction strikes me: the physically disabled are not allowed to adopt.

I can understand some of the rules as they are geared to ensure the child has a parent around for quite some time, but most of the physically disabled are going to be around for quite some time too. At least this concern was brought up by the NYT article:

The quality of the Chinese system and the health of the children is what prompted Mindy and Michael Henderson of Austin to apply for a Chinese child this year, a girl, Grace, who they adopted last month. Under the new rules, Ms. Henderson, 33, would have been disqualified because she uses a wheelchair for a neuromuscular condition. As it was, she said, her adoption agency had to lobby hard to gain approval, and was successful only because Grace is 5, not an infant.

“It’s really a shame,“ Ms. Henderson said of the health-related restrictions. “I’m really, really active. I use a motorized wheelchair so I can get around by myself. I drive my own car, I’ve got a master’s degree and I work a full-time job in management. My husband doesn’t have any sort of a disability.”

Note: The new rules have not been officially announced by the Chinese government, so these reports may be off base.

4 comments:

betsyl said...

i'm on a bunch of adoption mailing lists, and the new china restrictions are being talked about quite a bit.

i think that china gets to make whatever restrictions it wants. it makes me mad, but i don't think i get a vote, you know? (also, in addition to having ra, i'm also fat. there's a whole host of countries that won't give me a baby!)

i've got ra, and i am currently investigating other countries where as long as my rd says she thinks i'm okay, they'll let me adopt. should you be looking into adopting yourself, i'm totally willing to talk about it.

Disgruntled Ladye said...

Betsy,
I'm not looking at this point. Hubby and I haven't even talked about trying to have our own any time soon--5 years keeps being the number that we throw out. Now, should that not work out, I'll definitely look into adopting.

Thanks for your willingness to share any information you find. I'm sure there are plenty of other potential adoptive parents out there in the same situation--I know there were some on the Arthritis Foundation's message boards.

I think it's a shame that people with chronic illnesses are being excluded from adopting. Being ill or disabled or fat doesn't make you any less of a parent! But, like you said, it's not like we get a vote...

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