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Chinese adoptees often want to see homeland

For Louisiana residents seeking to adopt, China has been a reliable source of adoption for 20 years. Adopting from this country can take about two years and can cost as much as $23,000.

With the one-child rule in place, many families in China have chosen to give up their children for adoption, especially when a daughter comes into the family first. They will abandon their daughters or offer them for adoption, instead hoping to have a son to carry on the family name.

Since the Chinese government allowed international adoption in 1992, tens of thousands of children have left China for families abroad. Of those, 95 percent have been girls. Now that those daughters are reaching adulthood, American parents are facing the reality that young women who have been detached from their homelands have the desire to return to their roots and visit China.

For some Chinese girls in Louisiana, they might have been the only children of Chinese descent in their school. They might have looked different in terms of skin color and had Asian stereotypes bestowed upon them in school. In more populated and culturally diverse areas of the state, they might have gone to school on the weekends to learn Chinese with that being their only real tie to their culture.

It is natural that these girls want to return to China to feel like more a part of their culture. Some will choose to return for a short visit or some for a number of months for study. Some said the experience had the impact of bolstering pride in both their native land and their American culture.

The yearning of a young woman or man to return to a birthplace should not discourage Louisianans from adoption. Each adoption has a unique situation. With a domestic adoption, children frequently want to meet their birth parents, especially if they are in the area. An international adoption can fill a parent and child with joy for many years, and parents must stay aware that as that child ages, questions will arise.

Source: CNN, "Adopted from China: Finding identity through heritage," Molly Gray, July 17, 2012

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