Two articles in the Taiwan media this week may interest some of you. . .
The first article, from Taiwan Review, discusses the impact the economy is having on children and the perception of adoption. Here is an excerpt:
“Harold Li is afraid that, if the economic situation continues to worsen, another issue will become more serious: abandoned children. According to Li, Taiwan saw an annual average of approximately 500 abandoned children and adolescents in the past six years. At the start of this year, the CWLF was receiving around one call per day from parents willing to give up their children and asking for information about their adoption. Li says that since the Lunar New Year celebrations at the end of January, the foundation has been receiving around two such calls per day…
“For Li, however, the attitude of many Taiwanese towards adoption is problematic. “Usually adoption is a secret in our society,” he says. This explains why the chance for a child to be adopted over the age of 3 is quite slim because it is easier for older children to realize that their adoptive parents are not their biological parents. In addition, the adopted child has to be completely healthy and look acceptable. Some couples refuse to adopt children with a dark complexion or whose parents were laborers in Taiwan from Southeast Asia, Li says. In comparison, the CWLF coordinator says, Western people who adopt a child are more likely to ignore age or other factors unwelcomed by Taiwanese. Then again, he also speaks considerately of the latter. “It’s already costly to raise a healthy child today, not to mention a physically handicapped one,” he says.
“For years the CWLF has been trying to educate Taiwanese about adoption and in 2005, the organization coordinated a visit of nine teenagers originally from Taiwan, who had been adopted by Dutch parents more than 10 years earlier. All of the young people had been abandoned as children and most were born with physical impairments. “These children came back to see their place of birth. On the other hand, we wanted Taiwan’s society to learn from those foreign parents. They adopt children of different races and are willing to take care of imperfect babies,” Li says.” – Read the full article at the Taiwan Review, June 1, 2009
The second article features a 7-year-old girl with Down Syndrome who is coming home to live with her new forever family in Massachusetts. How wonderful for this little girl and her new family – you can read her story at eTaiwan News.