It turns out that all these American (among other nationalities) families have been clamoring to help out the Chinese with their unwanted babies, you know, taking them in, adopting them as their own, and giving them a chance of a life outside of a state-sponsored orphanage, perpetual poverty, and whatever else befalls the unwanted infants in China. And now China has issued new standards for hopeful American adoptive parents (I’m sure these are international guidelines, not just for Americans), so all those babies that they neither want nor can care for can be adopted by skinny, upper middle class, heterosexual couples both of whom are over 30 and under 50 who have been married (to each other) for at least two years . . . well, as long as they haven’t been married too many times previously nor are taking any anti-depressants nor have a “severe” facial deformity.
I’m not kidding. The new adoption rules released from China seem to have areas that need some work; for example, if you’ve had a fatal organ transplant in the past ten years, you won’t qualify. Of course, you’re dead, so you’re unlikely to apply. But if you’re a married couple (of the right age, sexuality, and length of marriage), your joint household income must be at least $80,000 per year, which is on the high end of “middle class” in this country: the American middle class income definition ranges from a two person household income of $45,000 to $96,000 per year. America is vast country with large regions and both between and within those regions are great differences in costs of living, as well as housing costs and income levels. A couple can live quite well in (say) Georgia on $50,000 or so, but that same couple would be hurting in a big way in eastern Massachusetts. It just depends where you are, what you have (do you own your home outright? Or is your mortgage brand spanking new and looming for thirty more years?), etc. And what about debt? I mean, someone could make the required $80,000 and owe three times that or be living beyond their means and be technically broke.
What about that facial deformity clause or the more than 40 percent body fat clause? I’m just not sure what to make of these adoption requirements because it seems rather hypocritical and random to me. I think that people with 40 percent body fat are just as likely as anyone to enjoy a happy loving home, and isn’t that more important than what size clothes you buy and wear? I do understand the clause about not having advanced HIV, that is a real health concern that will result in an early death that could in turn traumatize a child, but merely being overweight is not a death sentence!
It gets under my skin that they would dare to put such unrealistically high expectations on adoptions when people open their homes and their hearts (not to mention their wallets) to adopt these little babies and toddlers. And nothing about such a decision can be easy to make. I mean the prospective adoptive parents have to consider all manner of things regarding culture, religion, and race in addition to deciding to adopt in the first place. They have to consider whether to honor their child’s culture and background or to raise him or (far more likely) her without any knowledge or understanding of their homeland, parents, etc. I think that’s a huge thing to decide! But then to be told that you don’t make enough money or that you have too much body fat or that you’re blind in one eye and therefore unfit to love and care for a child . . . I don’t know, it just seems wrong to me.
This is not to say that any old person should be handed a baby with no questions asked! I do think there should be guidelines, but I think they should make sense. I mean so what if you can’t see out of both eyes? Plenty of one-eyed people enjoy full and exciting and useful lives. So what if you’ve lost all or part of a limb? Plenty of people thrive with prosthetics or learn to adjust to doing things with only one or part of a limb. I don’t know; these requirements seem arbitrary and a bit . . . well, arbitrary.
Some fun facts on obesity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity
Some random links to sites that popped up on my google for Chinese adoption (in other words, I’ve no idea how legit they are, so don’t come back to me if you try to adopt a baby through one and something goes wrong!): http://china.adoption.com/, http://awaa.org/home/, and http://www.orphans.com/