Monday, April 13, 2009

CHI's Melody Speaks on China International Adoption Slowdown, Highlighting Waiting Children Need

"At a foster home on the outskirts of Beijing, thirteen special needs children are waiting to be adopted," begins Sunday's CNN report, as a CNN correspondent and crew toured Children's Hope International's foster home in Beijing, China.

Flipping through a bound journal of pictures and profiles, CHI's Associate Director Melody Zhang recalls each child who has been cared for at the Home of Children's Hope, since 2004, in great detail. They are children representative of the great need for parents who will open their hearts and homes to children with special medical needs or those who are older.

The children who live in the foster home now range in age from one month to five-years-old and were born with heart conditions, missing limbs, dwarfism, spina bifida, a cleft palate, or blindness and deafness - medical needs their families could not afford to care for.

These children receive healing corrective surgeries and have the opportunity to be adopted domestically or by American or European families. These are huge success stories - as all of these children would not have been available for adoption without their medical care and rehabilitation.

Although thirteen children are under our care at our Beijing foster home, Children's Hope places special needs children from throughout China with Children's Hope application families. Since mid-March, 30 children have been matched or placed with families who will care for them and watch them grow into college-bound teenagers and adults with families of their own.

Seventy children currently are waiting for their own forever family, on our password protected website.

Since 2005, the number of international adoptions from China has slowed. However, Melody reports to CNN, it is not that fewer people want to adopt but there are instead simply more Chinese and foreigners who want to adopt and fewer children up for adoption. This reduction, although it means waits that may grow to 5 years, does not mean families are not needed. It means that there are fewer families that will wait, but hopefully more families whose hearts will open to these special children who desperately need homes.

Children's Hope encourages domestic adoption and has been campaigning for the Chinese orphan in both China and the US. The growing economy in China has given more people the means to raise a child, so Chinese parents are less likely to give up their children.

"In the past, Chinese people would not consider adopting someone out of the family, but more and more people are educated, and they understand the important part is to raise the child, not necessarily a blood tie," Melody says.

In 2008, sixteen children lived in our foster home; four found their forever homes. Beyond those walls, 127 children received corrective surgeries, 8 orphaned children began vocational and technical study, orphans received monthly support from 1148 sponsors, and 6 Tents of Hope served more than 8000 people still suffering in the Sichuan 5.12 earthquake zone.

There is certainly need in China. Children's Hope International hopes to siphon the world's love to fill that need, with Homes, Health and Hope so that no child is forgotten.

Learn more about Children's Hope Waiting Children Program


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