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Chinese Adoption & Disability

In honor of the conclusion of National Disability Awareness Month, we share a part of Chinese adoption that is often overlooked: the intersectionality of adoption and disability.




Slide text:

Slide one:

Intersectionality: Chinese Adoption & Disability. For national disability awareness month @girls.adoption.connect.

Slide two: Understanding intersectionality

Intersectionality is the interconnected nature of different aspects of one's identity. Because one has multiple identifiers, these identifiers can overlap and intersect, creating an intersectional identity. This is relevant when connecting adoption to other identifiers, such as race, gender or ability, for the oppression members of each identifier face can intersect to create multiple layers of oppression.

Slide three: Background info: the One-Child Policy

China's One-Child Policy lasted from 1979 to 2016 and allowed Chinese couples to raise one child. In Chinese culture, sons were expected to care for their parents in old age, so it was important to Chinese parents for their one child be a son who could fulfill this cultural expectation.

Slide four: The One-Child Policy & disability: P1: what happened

Girls and children with disabilities were not considered capable of fulfilling this expectation. Therefore, children with disabilities were often placed at orphanages and adopted internationally. In 2013, China amended the policy to allow couples two children if their first was disabled, due to a non- hereditary disease, and unable to work.

Slide five: The One-Child Policy & disability: P2: the effects

China's disabled population is a little over 6%. The global average is 15%. Because China has a smaller disabled population (and the largest national population), their facility accessibility and disability awareness is lagging behind some other countries.

Slide six: Adoption & ableism

In rural areas of China, disabled children were more likely to be found abandoned: where women couldn't afford to have an abortion or facilities didn't exist to support people with disabilities. Abortion only because of disability is referred to as "modern eugenics" by some disability activists.

Slide seven: Disability & Chinese adoption today

Today, 98% of children in Chinese orphanages have a disability. This is due to ableism, families not having money for medical care and other factors. Therefore, most children available for adoption from China today have a disability.

Slide eight: Some organizations supporting orphanages in China

Philip Hayden Foundation & Seven Acres Project, Save the Children, International China Concern, Children of China Pediatrics Foundation


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