The Impact of the Hunan Scandal on China's Adoption Program
This essay was published originally on our subscription blog in 2012, but seeing some recent comments by waiting families made me think the info might still be of some relevance to interested families.
I was reading a waiting family's blog last week, and saw a discussion about how slow the CCAA is referring children. The waiting families were understandably frustrated that the wait has increased from a year to over five years since many of them have sent their adoption dossiers to China, and with only a small number of referrals taking place each month, many asked the question "Why?"
Answers have been thrown out to explain the increased wait time, running the gamut from the 2008 Olympics to a decrease in abandonments due to increased economic affluence and access to abortion. Some uninformed families believe that children are still coming into the orphanages, but that the CCAA has implimented a quota system that keeps them there, hidden from the world, and unadoptable. All of these ideas can be tested, drawing on evidence from China's orphanages. By focusing on the data from China's main providers of internationally adopted children, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hunan and Jiangxi Provinces, we can test each hypothesis to see if it stands up to scrutiny, and ultimately determine what exactly caused China's program to so radically change over the past ten years.
First, let's begin answering the question of why by answering an even more basic question: "When did the wait time begin increasing?" After we have determined that fact, we can go on to address why.
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