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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

May 18, 2006

Written by C.N.

China Limiting Foreign Adoptions to Gays

As it currently stands, many (but not all) adoption agencies have no problems with gays/lesbians adopting children. Up to now, neither have foreign countries, including Asian ones. Apparently, that is starting to change as China is starting to limit the number of adoptions by gays/lesbians into the U.S.:

Adoption of babies from China declined by 17 percent in 2004 after several years of increases, the report showed. The data are the most recent available for adoptions in the state, and many agencies say they believe Massachusetts adoptions from China have continued to decline since then.

The decline is largely the result of the Chinese government’s decision to severely limit the number of single people who can adopt, local adoption officials said. They say the Chinese government enforced these rules after being troubled by publicity in the late 1990s over gay parents in the United States raising Chinese babies.

Now, agencies say, Chinese officials allow no more than 8 percent of the country’s children who are adopted to be placed with single people, and requires all applicants to sign statements that they are not gay or lesbian.

The article also speculates that the decline in Chinese adoptions in Massachusetts could also be due to a tight economy and rising adoption fees. Nonetheless, I find this to be a troubling trend. Foreign adoption can be a very emotional issue for many Asian Americans, some of whom worry that too many Asian adoptees grow up in predominantly White families without a real sense of their Asian ethnic identity.

But even beyond that, it seems as though China is increasingly following another trend popularized in America — discriminating against gays and lesbians. Just like capitalist consumerism and unhealthy fast food, homophobic paranoia seems to be the latest export from America pervading Chinese society. Globalization at its best — or worst, depending on how you look at it.

Update: Several adoption agencies are reporting that as of May 1, 2007, China will ban foreign adoptions to those who are over 50, unmarried, gay/lesbian, or obese.

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "China Limiting Foreign Adoptions to Gays" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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