The Mystery of the Chinese "Baby Shortage"

Thu, January 25, 2007

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Things are a little crazy here today at Chez PunditMom.

Getting ready for a little soiree tonight that I’ll tell you all about tomorrow!

In the meantime, check out this op-ed piece from The New York Times called, “The Mystery of the Chinese Baby Shortage.”

This is a story I’ve really been following closely since it first broke — that the Chinese government has changed its rules and guidelines about who can adopt children from China because of the purported “shortage” of babies.

Obviously, I have a lot of mixed feelings about the changes and the contention that there aren’t enough children to “go around.” The Chinese government clearly has the right to decide who should be able to adopt the children from their country who need homes. But until there are more Chinese families willing to step forward, I worry about all the children who linger.

And, yes, that’s my little PunditGirl when she was still a PunditBaby! :)

I’ll be interested in your thoughts about the article.

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9 Responses to “The Mystery of the Chinese "Baby Shortage"”

  1. Johnny Says:

    While I certainly agree that the middle class is exploding in China…I’ve never quite fully bought into the concept that, suddenly, there are many domestic adoptions occurring.

    What I’ve always thought was the “saving face” because of the 2008 Olympics.

    On one hand, just as the article mentions, they’re going to have swarms of bored reporters trying to one-up each other with stories, so who doesn’t like an adoption story.

    On the other hand, I think they have so many kids that they can’t close down the orphanages to zero referrals.

    And, we might not really know in the end what the true story is.

    Maybe it is, indeed, a combination of 5-6 factors?

  2. Jenny Says:

    A child in need can’t always wait for a parent in their own country. Love knows no boundaries or nationalities.

  3. vasilisa Says:

    It’s sad when politics interferes in happiness of people… But it always does. I think the government wants the country to look better internationally — cause that many orphans signal to the world that all is not well in China.

    Feeling so sad for all those kids…

  4. PunditMom Says:

    I’ll definitely be writing and thinking more about this topic. I do agree this has a lot to do with international “face” and the 2008 Olympics.

  5. Lawyer Mama Says:

    I’m so glad you wrote about this, PM. I heard a story about this on NPR, I think when the new restrictions were announced and I immediately wondered what your thoughts were.

    It is sad when politics gets in the way of ensuring that children have loving homes. I remember thinking the same thing when Romania banned international adoptions.

  6. Queen of the Mayhem Says:

    My friend is in the process of adopting a Korean boy. He was supposed to be issued his visa and passport in November of last year. She is now praying to have him by the end of February. This is a woman who is married to a wonderful man with more than ample means to provide for the child they both desperately want. Meanwhile, he sits…..in the orphanage….waiting. Mind you, he is being well cared for….but missing out on prime bonding time with his new family. I think it is sad that children could possibly lose out on a wonderful family simply to save face for a disgruntled nation.

  7. Gunfighter Says:

    In other news… good news this time: A couple from our church is in Kazakhstan, as I type this, to adopt their second child, a girl. They adopted their first child, Vladomir, from Kazakhstan, as well, when he was a baby.

    Vlad is a really cool 6 year old with spiky hair and tons of little-boy energy.

  8. Johnny Says:

    Oooops. Sorry about the multiple comments. The screen wouldn’t show the comment took and I kept retrying. Can you delete them?

    (I think I got my point across)

  9. Kelley Says:

    Thanks for directing us to the article. I’d heard about the recent restrictions, but I hadn’t considered that it might have something to do with the 2008 Olympics. Sadly, I think there might be a correlation.

    My husband’s boss is in China right now, bringing home his new daughter, so I’ll have to pass this along.


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