Thursday, June 14, 2012

How Did You Get A Boy From China?

"How did you get a boy from China?" 

It's a legitimate question.  I get why someone would ask.  But often, the immediate follow-up stings.

"I thought they wanted boys."

I understand the question, but when it's put that way, I cringe.  Please be sensitive when you ask questions of an adoptive parent -- not so much for the parent's sake, but because little ears are often listening, especially when we are talking about them.  "I thought they wanted boys."  What does it do to Wenxin's heart to hear a statement like that?

But getting back to the original question, let's talk about adopting a boy from China.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.  Smile.  Here's what today's average informed person knows about China adoption:  China has a one child policy.  (What most people don't know is that China now allows some families to have two children.)  Chinese families want their one child to be a boy because in Chinese culture, adult sons are responsible to care for their aging parents.   For this reason, baby girls are often abandoned at birth so the parents can "try again" for a boy.

This limited understanding of a very complex social problem gives people the idea that there aren't any boys in Chinese orphanages.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

When you look at "waiting children" lists from China there are always boys --lots and lots of boys. 

Here are just a few reasons a Chinese boy might be waiting  -- sometimes for years -- to be adopted:

  • Chinese parents may give up a male child when the parents already have one or two other children.
  • Chinese parents may give up a child who has medical needs, even medical needs that seem minor to Westerners.
  • Sometimes parents die, and there's not another family member to take the child. 
  • Adoptive parents seem to prefer girls, especially when adopting an older child.

So I want to shout it from the rooftops, "Yes,you can adopt a boy from China. . .  Yes, you can.  We did, and our family wouldn't be the same without him." 

Would you consider adopting an older boy from China?  If you're an adoptive parent, how do you answer personal questions about your child's history?


  1. You are such a good spokesperson for adoption!


    I love this video entitled "Adopting a Boy" by LWB!

    1. Oh thank you! I just added it to the post. I love it!

    2. Glad you like it! We had three bio sons. Then adopted a boy from China. Then started the process to adopt another boy from China! Guess what question we were always asked? Now we also have a baby girl from China yet she was a "surprise pregnancy" :-)

  3. I like your post. I think of all the questions I get about adoption, the worst is the "How did you get a boy from China?" Sometimes I say we wanted a boy, sometimes I say there are lots of boys available (I may or may not add that they are considered waiting or special children). I also like to tell people their are lots of reasons children get abandoned and that they all need a family. We wanted boys, as we had always had boys when we did foster care and knew they waited longer for a home even here in the USA. People are more willing to take a "chance" on a girl.
    Lore adoptive mom of one son from China and one son from foster care

  4. What great reminders! May we all be in prayer for the orphaned little ones who desperately need homes to be loved and cared for in.