Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Adoption Oral History Project

Oral histories form vital links to the past, both for individuals, cultures and communities. As our children grow up and begin reflecting on their life journeys, it will be of great worth to themselves and others to have their thoughts, as well as those of their family, preserved.

Jena Heath, an adoptive parent of a child from Guangdong Province and a professor of journalism, is working to assemble a "Storycorps of Chinese Adoption."  Our family was interviewed by her last weekend, and it was a fantastic experience.  Hearing my daughters's thoughts on their adoptions, what they hope for in their searches, and what they plan for their own lives, is an immensely important brick in their personal life stories. Quite simply, the recordings, in their own voices, are priceless to us.  

We strongly encourage you to contact Professor Heath to participate.  Her sensitivity, a result of her own family's experiences with adoption, will calm you. Her demeanor will put you and your family at total ease. And the interviews will help other adoptees and adoptive parents, as well as become a lasting legacy to your own family history.  
________________________

Greetings:
I am creating a digital audio archive of the stories of adoptees from China and their families. For the next year, at least, I will be traveling to talk with anyone who would like to share a personal adoption story – adoptees and their families. The goal is to create a place for adoptees to hear the direct, unmediated stories of others who share their experiences and to be able to document these stories for posterity. I am particularly interested in talking with adoptees who have searched for birth parents and with adoptive parents who have embarked on birth parent searches. I will launch the archive with the interviews/oral histories I collect over the next few months. Even better, however: The archive will also allow adoptees and their families to record and upload their stories themselves. For those of you who are NPR listeners, think of it as a kind of StoryCorps for the Chinese adoption community.

A bit about me: I am an associate professor of Journalism at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, who spent 20 years in newsrooms as a reporter and editor. My daughter, Caroline Chun, 9, came home from Yangchun, Guangdong Province, in 2008 a week after her second birthday. I helped launch Austin’s only public school Mandarin immersion language program and coordinated a Sister School relationship with my Xishuangbanna Yunjinghong Elementary School, in Yunnan Province.

If you would like to learn more about my project, please contact me at: jenaheath@gmail.com. If your FCC chapter or related organization is holding a Culture Camp, I’d love to attend to share more information.

Thank you,
Jena Heath

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Utilizing Searchers Inside China for Birth Parent Searching

One of the biggest challenges facing adoptive parents and adoptees looking to search for birth parents in China is space and language -- most families live far from their child's orphanage, and most are unable to speak Chinese.  Thus, from necessity, searching requires the use of a middle person who can travel to the area and interview finders, foster families, nannies, and other potential sources of information.  

Adoptive families have several well-known choices commonly named on Facebook pages and Yahoo search groups: Tiffanie Wan, Bruce Yu, and Wu Yin Xi, commonly known as Xixi.  We have had limited experience with Tiffanie and Bruce, and extensive experience with Xixi. This essay will discuss each.

It is hard to overstate how important it is to select the right searcher to be involved in determining your child's history.  Besides the waste of valuable financial resources, having the wrong searcher could also impact your search success, now and for a long time into the future.  Before you engage any searcher, you will want to read this essay on our subscription blog.  

http://research-china.org/blogs/index.htm


Friday, February 20, 2015

Birth Families Located

The following list is comprised of biographical data of children for whom we have located birth families (as of April 15, 2015). It is organized by Province, with the adopting orphanage also detailed. In a few cases the orphanage name is also known. If your child matches this information, please submit your child's DNA to 23andMe (if we have indicated that birth parental DNA is available) or contact us for more information. This list will be updated as more birth parents are located. 

Chongqing Municipality
Orphanage: Qianjiang 
Orphanage name:  
Gender: Female
Birth Date: Around 2/3/04
DNA: 23andMe 

Orphanage: Qianjiang 
Orphanage name:  
Gender: Female
Birth Date: @12/1/05
DNA: 23andMe 

Orphanage: Qianjiang 
Orphanage name:  
Gender: Female
Birth Date: @9/28/08
DNA: 23andMe 

Orphanage: Xiushan 
Orphanage name:  
Gender: Female 
Birth Date:  @4/10/04
DNA: 23andMe 

Inner Mongolia
Orphanage: Baotou 
Orphanage name:  
Gender: Male
Birth Date: Around 4/16/05
DNA: 23andMe 

Jiangxi Province 
Orphanage: Yingtan 
Orphanage name: Fu Ge 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Around 1/11/1998 
DNA: 23andMe 

Orphanage: Chongren County 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: 4/24/2002 
Age Arrived in Orphanage: About 10 days 
DNA: 23andMe 

Orphanage: Tonggu County 
Orphanage name: Tong Min Jian (?)
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: 4/12/2007 
Age Arrived in Orphanage: About 5 days 
DNA: 23andMe 

Orphanage: Jingdezhen 
Orphanage name: Matched to Adoptee December 21, 2014 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: 2/20/2000 
Age Arrived in Orphanage: About 2 days 
DNA: 23andMe 

Henan Province
Orphanage: Jiaozuo 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 5/25/2002 
Age Arrived in Orphanage: 3 days 
DNA: 23andMe 

Hunan Province 
Orphanage: Changsha City #1 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: 5/10/2001 
Age Arrived in Orphanage: About 180 days 
DNA: 23andMe 

Orphanage: Chenzhou 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: 10/6/91 
Age Arrived in Orphanage: Newborn 
DNA: 23andMe 

Orphanage: Hengshan County 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: 3/20/2002 
Age Arrived in Orphanage: About 5 days 
DNA: 23andMe 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: 8/29/04 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 5/1/05 
DNA: 23andMe 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date:3/2/03 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 6/4/03 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date:12/28/02 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 3/15/03 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 6/4/02 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 7/31/02 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 10/10/02 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 4/17/03 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 7/2/03 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 7/4/03 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 7/8/03 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 4/3/04 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 9/24/04 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female Birth 
Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 8/2/05 
DNA: Pending 

Orphanage: Shaoyang City 
Orphanage name: Unknown 
Gender: Female 
Birth Date: Unknown 
Date Arrived in Orphanage: 12/26/05 
DNA: Pending

Monday, December 22, 2014

Looking Back on 2014

As I look back on 2014, I feel this has been one of our most productive years yet.  Not only have we continued to provide finding ads, DVDs, and orphanage reports to thousands of adoptive families, but we have been able to provide important information and data to those families that want to know how their child came into the orphanage, or how China's evolving program has impacted their adoption.

1)  After three years of writing, modifying, editing, fact-checking, etc., Research-China.Org finally had their first article on China's adoption program published in a scholarly law review journal.  "Open Secret" has been the foundation of our adoptive family presentations, and it is very gratifying to finally introduce the records, transcripts, interviews, and orphanage data to those adoptive families seeking to truly understand the China adoption program.  This article is available for free download here.

2)  This past year saw our collection of available data books explode, as we added forty-five orphanage data books to our collection.  It is hard to understate how important these data books are to understanding a child's orphanage program.  By having the finding data for every child internationally adopted from the orphanage since 1999, one can form a very good idea how reliable the information is.  This becomes critically important not just for birth parent or sibling searches, but to simply address questions your child may (and will) have about their abandonment.  By having the hard data behind each child adopted, you can make very good assessments, and provide data-based answers to your child.

3) This past year also saw the launch of DNAConnect.Org, a service dedicated to collecting and matching birth parent DNA to adoptees.  With nineteen birth parents already in the process of being submitted, or having DNA already in the 23andMe database, and two matches already having been made, we believe this program represents the best hope for many adoptees of ever finding their birth parents.

With 2015 visible on the horizon, we are excited about what new discoveries will be made. Lan is conducting a huge birth parent search project early next year, which we are confident will add a lot more birth families to our growing data base.  We also look forward to continuing our assistance of interested adoptive families, those who are strong and interested enough to learn as much as possible about their child's origins.  And we are especially excited about the increasing number of adoptees themselves who are contacting us for help.  As the torch moves from adoptive parents to adoptees, we will do everything we can to help each child understand their history.  Our jobs are satisfying indeed.

All the best for a happy and prosperous 2015!