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What About the Boys?

Many of us have ideas in our head about what adoption from China looks like. These ideas have likely been influenced by media (i.e., the 2005 film, “China’s Lost Girls”), press (covering China’s one-child policy), friends, family, and maybe even our own experiences.

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Over the years, adoption from China has evolved in a number of ways. You might have previously read our blog series about The Changing Face of China’s Orphans.

Here are some of the current facts:

1. The vast majority of children available for international adoption now have medical and special needs.

2. There are many more BOYS who are eligible for adoption. The current shared list of waiting child files consists of approximately of 75% boys and 25% girls, or three boys for every one girl.

3. The ancient Chinese beliefs and attitudes that shaped the beginnings of international adoption in China are changing.

Yago9.14

As we have discussed in previous blogs, domestic adoption has greatly increased. (See “Domestic Adoption on the Rise” and our August 2014 Newsletter which focused on domestic adoption). Additionally, China has changed their one-child policy over time so that there are more exceptions today, which allow couples to have more than one child in quite a few instances.

Whatabout9.14

Today, however, what we really want to talk about are the boys who are waiting to be adopted, possibly as a result of the fact that our own Western ideas about adoption from China remain stuck on the “Lost Girls”.  Some adoption agencies tell us that when given a choice, an overwhelming majority of families are specifically interested in adopting a girl.  We notice that whenever we share a photo or story about a girl on social media, it tends to get significantly more attention than photos about boys.  While we don’t understand this bias, it definitely exists whether people are conscious of it or not.

Aaron10.14

We continually ask ourselves why there is a greater reluctance to adopt boys from Asia and wanted to share some of the thoughts which have been shared with us:

1.   Perhaps there is a notion that girls (and more specifically, Asian girls) are more compliant and sweet, and boys may have a tendency towards more risky and challenging behavior. (Of course, those of us with girls from China can only shake our heads and laugh at this misconception!)

2.  Some have mentioned that men may be reluctant or ambivalent to pass their family name to a son who isn’t genetically related to them. This belief may also be held by reluctant grandparents or other family members doubtful about adoption.  Since women are often the initiators of adoptions, perhaps they defer to their husband when it comes to specifying gender?

3.  Others mention that perhaps many women are more comfortable with the idea of raising a daughter since they themselves were girls and are familiar with female-specific activities and issues.

4.  Some people believe that daughters may be more likely to care for them as they age.

5.  Others have brought up the phrases,  “China princess” or “China doll” which resonate with some potential parents as far as preferring a girl.

6.   Some families have mentioned that adopting a boy from Asia raised uncomfortable feelings about whether or not they would have to consider circumcision to “look like Dad.”

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We would love to know your thoughts on this very real issue of why adoptive parents have a preference for adopting girls from China.   Do you feel it is just a remnant of adoption a decade ago, when the majority of orphaned children were indeed females?  Or are there other reasons we should all be discussing to help more boys have a chance at finding families?   Please add your comments below on this very important topic.

And in the meantime, we want to once again share the faces of some of the wonderful BOYS from our programs who are waiting to be chosen by families.  Please feel free to contact our Adoption Advocacy Team at [email protected] with any adoption-related questions or specific questions about these waiting children!

MichaelChenzhou9.14Michael, 12 years old

DavidFuyang6.14David, 11 years old ($3,000 Adoption Assistance Grant plus reduction in orphanage donation)

JosephJinjiang8.14Joseph from Jinjiang, 11 years old

YagosmilingYago, 10 years old ($4,000 Adoption Assistance Grant)

Joseph from Fuyang, 10 years old (reduction in orphanage donation)

Mickey1Mickey, 8 years old

Erik2013Erik, 8 years old

LUKE-201405Luke from Kaifeng, 7 years old ($3,000 Adoption Assistance Grant)

IfanWinstonsum014Ifan, 7 years old ($2,000 Adoption Assistance Grant)

Caleb2014Caleb, 7 years old

TomasTomas, 7 years old

AdamgrinAdam, 7 years old

LukeHuainan2014Luke from Huainan, 6 years old

Jonathan2 8.13Jonathan, 6 years old

Daniel8.14Daniel, 6 years old

BobbymotorcycleBobby, 5 years old

Alan3.14Alan, 4 years old

timothy7.14blogTimothy, 4 years old

Rhys4Rhys, 3 years old

Most of these handsome boys are on the shared list with just a few exceptions. We hope to see many of these boys find the right family for them in these last few months of 2014!

Love Without Boundaries proudly advocates for adoption but is not an adoption agency. We invite you to contact [email protected] with questions about a child we have featured and encourage you to contact your adoption agency for more information about China’s Waiting Child Program.

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  • chinalwb says:

    David was adopted in the past year and is now home in the United States with his forever family! Many of the boys featured in this blog have been adopted while others still wait. Thank you for asking, Debra! If you have any adoption-related questions, you may email our Adoption Advocacy Team at [email protected].

  • gaolimin620 says:

    I remember David from all the blogs. Has he ever found a home?? I sure hope so! My son came home with a repaired heart issue as well, and is doing great!
    Thanks,
    Debra

  • andrea says:

    We switched from Honduras to the China waiting child program for a boy the day this blog was written

  • chinalwb says:

    We are so thankful to everyone who has taken the time to share their thoughts on this important issue of gender preference in adoption! We have really learned so much and hope the discussion continues.

  • This is such an important issue to bring into the forefront. I agree with nearly everything that has already been said. My husband and I adopted a little boy from China last year and are in process to adopt a second child, though this time we are more seriously considering a girl. I wrote a post on why I think the preference for little girls from China is around.
    http://orphantoadoption.com/why-couples-adopting-from-china-prefer-girls/

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