There are endless theories as to what is behind the slow down of adoptions from China. Certainly the most maddening part of the process is that they are exactly that....theories. No one knows for sure. Well, I guess that is not entirely true, I assume that some government agency in China, the CCAA or the SWI's???, have to know. But as anyone who has followed the roller coaster ride of international adoption knows...those in the "know" don't necessarily find it their responsibility to share this information.
So, lets cover a few of the "more popular" rumors/reasons for the slow down:
- There are fewer abandonments in China. This one probably has an equal number of believers as non-believers. The "Believers" argument is that the "One Child Rule" is easing in China and even where the law is fully enforced, that families are making more money and are able to afford the financial penalty of having more than one child. There is also the argument that the population is becoming more educated in birth control, therefore less unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. Another side of this argument deals with the age old practice of the cultural bias preference for males vs. females, some say that with new generations that this practice is not as prevalent as in the past. The "Non-Believers", whose theory are that there are just as many abandonments as in the past, have their own compelling arguments as well. The argument of enforcement of the "One Child Rule" easing in China is highly debated. There are many, very disturbing, stories of forced abortions as well as forced sterilization within China by the Family Planning Officials. Here is a link to an article regarding this subject: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9766870. The issue that people have a higher standard of living in some cases is correct, but as you will see from the story linked, apparently some are not being given the option of paying a fine for a second child (girl) even if they have the ability. The other argument regarding the financial status is the standard of living has increased in many urban cities in China, but the rural areas remain poor and daily life is a struggle for many. Statistically it seems that most birthmothers of infant abandoments come from rural areas. Cultural bias for males over females can also be tied to financial stability in some cases. The bias for a male offspring is at least partially based on a families ability to survive in the future...for parents to be taken care of in their old age. Since daughters get married, leave their family, and become part of their husbands family, their is no assurance for the parents to have someone to provide for them once they are elderly and unable to provide for themselves. It seems that the lessening of this cultural bias for male offsprings for the current generation is dependent primarily on two things....the standard of living of the couple as well as the pressure provided by the families of these couples. Pressure from past generations, particularly grandparents, plays a lot into the bias for a male offspring. Apparently, in China, as with a lot of other places in the world...."You can't teach and old dog new tricks".