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Bubble Generation

Under China’s one-child policy, boys are preferred, so newborn daughters are sometimes abandoned or put up for adoption. The China Center for Adoption Affairs tightened adoption rules on May 1, 2007 in response to the high number of applications by foreigners, which they said exceeded the number of available babies in China.

This chart shows the steep decline in adoption numbers after the rules were tightened. The blue line traces all adoptions coming to the U.S. and the red line traces all adoptions to the U.S only from China.

Although overall adoption numbers decreased after 2007, China's new adoption regulations have more dramatically curbed the incoming adopted population from China. As a result, adoptees today are living in a "bubble generation."


Do You Qualify?

restriction one Neither parent can be blind in either eye, have hearing loss in both ears or loss of language function.
restriction one The family must have fewer than five children under the age of 18, and the youngest is at least one year old.
restriction one Both prospective parents must be high school graduates or have vocational training equivalent to a high school education.
restriction one Chinese law permits adoption by married couples, defined as one man and one woman. They must adopt the child jointly. In addition, they must have been married at least two years.
restriction one The total value of family assets must be at least $80,000. At least one member of the couple must have stable employment.
restriction one Both parents must be physically and mentally fit and can't have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more.
See a complete list of adoption restrictions from China.


A Look Foward

Jessica Radin, a 33-year-old Manhattan history teacher, was born in Thailand to a Chinese father and Thai mother. The country allowed international adoptions, and she was adopted by Helen Radin in 1976 who raised her on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

In 2004, she wrote an article called "Better Off Than You Would Have Been" about race and identity issues. In the article, she uses the term "savior mentality," when parents of adopted children think they are somehow saving a child's life.

Radin traveled to Bankok to search for her birth family in 1999, a trip she describes as very "difficult and disturbing." A year after the trip, she was able to locate her siblings but she was never able to track down her biological parents.

While no one can predict what experiences young adoptees like Annie Mitnick or Adina Minkin will face when they become older, Jessica Radin provides some answers based on her own experience.

For more on Radin, read her article "Better Off Than You Would Have Been"