A teacher I work with adopted a baby from China about three years ago. They named her Hope. They wanted children for a while but couldn't have any, so they spent a lot of money and time going through the Chinese adoption process. This teacher has often commented on all of the requirements they had to meet before they could adopt Hope. This has many times raised the question, "Why can't the U.S. make ALL prospective parents (not only adoptive, but anyone with the ability to conceive) go through the same process to ensure that each child will have stable parents who will give them all that they need?" Unfortunately, we can't sterilize everyone on Earth and make them fill out an application before they have kids, but MAN it would really solve a lot of problems if we could.
I went to a Chinese adoption site tonight because adoption is something Luke and I have an interest in down the road. I of course want to be pregnant and birth my own children, but I also have a desire to adopt children who need a good family. I am not trying to be Angelina Jolie, but I would really enjoy adopting children from different countries, too. I think spreading diversity and teaching each child about his/her own unique culture so that they could educate others on their cultures would really be awesome. I also am very aware of all the children in America who need families, so I would want to adopt an American child, too. Basically, I want to save the world, one child at a time. :-)
Anyway, I found an adoption agency in China called Great Wall China Adoption. Yes, it sounds like a restaurant. :-) However, it is really informative and I read about all the requirements to have to meet in order to adopt a child from China. WOW! It is amazing and I would like to share some of these requirements. For the full run-down, go to http://www.gwca.org/why_china/requirements/married
1. You have to be married. Hmmmm....novel concept.
2. Both people have to have high school diplomas.
3. You have to have a net worth of at least $80,000.
4. The household has to have an income of at least $10,000 per person (including the adoptive child and any other children). For example, Luke and I would have to have an income of at least $30,000 to adopt (him, me, and the child).
5. There is a limit to 5 children in the household.
6. You have to be married at least 2 years, unless it is your 2nd marriage and then it is 5 years. You can't have been divorced 3 times.
7. You can't have been arrested for any felony, violent crime or drug use. You also can't have more than 3 DUI's regardless of the outcome (so deferment programs don't count).
8. You can't be on depression meds (have to be off them for 2 years), can't be diagnosed with depression/anxiety, can't be diagnosed with alcoholism within 10 years, can't have ANY drug history, no cancer, hep A, B, or C, can't have both people in wheelchairs, and can't have a BMI over 40 (very interesting).
9. Can't adopt a child unless any current children are at least 12 months old.
10. Have to be at least 30 years old and under 50 (this is the only one I disagree with. I am just shy of 25 and feel like I could be a perfectly good mom....so I would change it to at least 25 years old)
I think it is great that they take adopting so seriously. It is obviously a huge commitment and they don't want people adopting kids like we go and pick out puppies at a store. It's amazing how the things that occur quite often in the U.S. such as teen pregnancies, people with criminal histories, people with ZILLIONS of kids (octomom!), people with histories of drug & alcohol use/abuse, and people who don't even have jobs are not tolerated when adopting from another country.
Another interesting fact is that 95% of children being adopted in China are girls 6 months old. I suppose it is true that since the population is so high and they have said that you can only have 1 child, they give up their girls because they want a boy to carry on the family name. The mothers drop the babies off at the orphanages and are given 3 months to come back and claim the child. When the 3 months are up, the child is no longer theirs and they begin looking for adoptive parents.
I really hope that Luke and I are in the position to do this someday.