Sunday, July 1, 2007

Where Are All The Babies....or....The Blame Game Part 4

Part 4 of my series of posts on theories behind the slowdown of international adoptions China. As some of you know theories on this particular subject seem to be endless, with many sides to each of them. I think this is the last one I am going to cover... at least for now. In my opinion, the theories/reasons/causes that I have covered here are some of the most prevalent ones and I think in most cases I have covered both sides of the story. Ultimately do I know if any of these theories are in actuality fact? No. My suspicion is that probably a good part of many of them are true. But ultimately I do not know for sure and will probably never know the absolute truth. This is just another tough part of international adoption....having to give up control, trusting the unknown, while keeping the faith.
As I previously stated, over the past week, representatives from the CCAA are in the U.S. and having meetings with various U.S. adoption agency personnel. I am not entirely sure of the purpose of these meetings. I do know that some "pre-selected" adoptive families and waiting families have been invited to attend some of these meetings and "allowed" to ask representatives from the CCAA questions. Of course these "pre-selected" family members have "cautioned" not to ask any questions that would "embarrass" or be considered to be "accusatory or controversial". Honestly, at this point, I can't think of a question that I might ask them given those restrictions. I guess it is lucky for all that I wasn't invited to one of the meetings then huh? Not that there was even a remote chance of that happening with my agency....we will be lucky to even be provided, by our agency, with any information our agency may have received during the meeting. But luckily, those of us with an interest in the world of international adoption in China are a resourceful bunch and information "makes the rounds". If only there were a reliable way to disseminate fact from fiction all of our lives would be a little easier.
The Blame Game
  • During at least one of the meetings between the CCAA and U.S. adoption agencies the CCAA officials stated that one of the reasons for the slowdown is due to the individual SWI's. According to these officials, the CCAA does not have enough "Paper Ready Babies", not necessarily that there are not enough babies...but "Paper Ready Babies". And whose responsibility is it to make the children in the orphanages "paper ready"? The individual SWI's have to submit the paperwork to the CCAA for the children to be eligible for international adoption. There are many steps in this process, including paperwork, finding ads, medical checks, etc. This has always been another responsibility of the SWI's, another part of the care for the children who they are responsible for. Adoptive parents from the U.S. are required to make an "orphanage donation" to the SWI that our child comes from in the amount of $3000. USD. This payment is meant to aid in the care of the children in the orphanage. This care includes housing, food, clothing, medical care, staffing for childcare and YES paperwork & documentation. Hmmm...can you relate? How many of us enjoy our job....if it weren't for that damn time consuming paperwork?! Apparently $3000. USD does not go as far as it used to, because according to these recent meeting with CCAA officials, SWI personnel does not see this as the financial incentive to make children "paper ready" as they have in the past. There are new paperwork regulations that are more involved due to Hague compliance and the SWI's feel that they should be getting more money due to this.

As usual, I am torn about this. One would think that this is not a rumor or theory since it reportedly came directly from officials from the CCAA. But that would involve having complete confidence in what we are being told. If you go back to Part 2 of this post, I wrote about "saving face", as we would call it in the U.S., since this is a common cultural practice with the Chinese, one may have issues with the level of confidence. I have to question when/if $3000. USD was not the equivalent of a lot of money in China....again, go back to Part 3 of this the past it was said that SWI orphanage directors would not provide children for domestic adoption in China because they got a larger donation for the orphanage from international adoption....but now it's not enough?! I don't get it!

So, should the SWI's get a larger amount of money for their "donation" all honestly at this point....I DON'T CARE! Would I give the orphanage that cared for my daughter for the first months of her life more money to help care for the other children who are in their care? Would I invest more money in providing a cleaner, better environment for these children? Would I pay more money for one more nanny to be added to the payroll of a orphanage so maybe, just maybe, my daughter or someone elses would actually be held while she is being given a bottle or comforted while she cried? YOU BET I WOULD....WITHOUT A BLINK OF AN EYE! Judge as you will, but this is my opinion. I would do so without reservation. NOT to be "buying a baby", but I see this potential increase as a price of doing business. U.S. agencies rates increase, homestudy/social workers charges increase, even the U.S. government USCIS fees are increasing....I have no control over any of these increases, nor did anyone ask my input before they were put in place...and while all of these are involved in the process of us adopting our daughter, none of them are directly involved in the care of our daughter. So why, in the name of GOD, would I not be willing to increase the financial donation to my daughters orphanage?