Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bumps and Bruises along the Way

Adoption had been on our minds as Frank and I decided to take the plunge into international teaching. Skyping with various teachers at our current school, we were elated to find that several had privately adopted in Taiwan. We spent our first year in preparations, agreeing that we would not be ready for a baby until the following school year.

A month before summer vacation, we received a call from our adoption angel saying a family wanted to meet with us. They had 5 children already and the baby was due in December. This was perfect timing and appeared even more perfect when we found out that one baby was in fact, two babies-twins! We left for a summer in Europe with high hopes and the idea of twins becoming more and more attractive.

Two weeks before the end of vacation, we received a disappointing email - the family decided to keep the twins because they will bring good luck to the family, BUT a little girl had just been born and the mother was willing to keep her until we arrived back in Taiwan. An appointment was made. We were to meet at McDonalds and pick up the two week old little girl. (McDonalds. . .seriously!)

We packed up and drove 2 hours south to meet our soon to be little girl. Once there, a tiny little munchkin was placed in my arms and we began to chat with the birth mother. Everything seemed in good order until we went to leave. We had heard stories of people “selling” their babies but never thought we would be placed in the position to have to deal with a child transaction. The little girl was handed back and we started on the long drive home disappointed.

Two more stories such as the ones above occurred. One involved an elderly couple who had lost their adult son and were absolutely convinced that the newborn we had been told to come and get was their deceased son, reincarnated. Who can compete with that really? With each disappointment, our spirits sank.

As of Spring of 2012, private adoption is an avenue no longer available to families in Taiwan. The dangers and reality of child trafficking has caused the government to lock down this once accessible form of adoption. Because of this, the government is noticing a sharp decline in adoptions. The response is discussed in this article from Focus Taiwan’s website. 1.3 children are abandoned daily and less than 60% of these children are adopted out. This comes from an island with a 0.7% birth rate, one of the lowest in the world.

The positive aspects of private adoption are numerous-we received our baby girls as soon as they were born, I was gifted with being present at the birth of our youngest, relationships were established and maintained with birth families, and the process appeared to be a bit smoother and less expensive. Adoptions through agencies are not available to all families. The requirements asked of birth families are not possible for many as most are religiously affiliated-Frank and I certainly wouldn’t have met the requirements. Private adoption was our only shot and we’re beyond pleased that it worked out for us. However, we know that there are many families who are waiting for their match. To them we would like to stay-hang in there. It may take time, but the rewards are worth the bumps and bruises along the way.

NAM List

  • Share history of national adoption month
  • Pre adoption--bumps and bruises along the way

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