China's Rules Stymie American Adoptions

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2009 1:38 PM CDT
Adopted children attend a class at Wang Jiayu Orphanage of Sanshilipu Village on July 11, 2006 in Yingshang County of Anhui Province, China.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Americans are adopting far fewer Chinese children thanks to a set of Chinese fitness rules aimed at accomplishing just that, Time reports. Adoptions from the US have fallen 50% since May 2007, when China instituted rules requiring prospective parents to be, among other things, married, under 50, non-obese, and not on antidepressants. “Three years ago I was an acceptable parent, and now I’m not,” says one recently divorced would-be adopter. “It seems kind of unfair.”

With domestic adoption increasingly viewed as socially acceptable, and the stigma around girl children fading, China’s orphanages aren’t overflowing anymore. “I think they are saying, you know what, we have fewer children now,” says the founder of a Colorado Chinese Adoption agency, “and so we are looking for better parents.”