Saturday, January 03, 2009

Birth Parent Analysis

I am frequently asked how likely it is that a birth parent search would be successful, or how reliable a child's finding information might be, or if a particular orphanage is involved in trafficking. Over the years I have accumulated a huge amount of data concerning China's orphanages -- press reports, finding ads, and personal experiences in many of the cities. This data allows one to place the finding of a particular child against the forest of every other internationally-adopted child found in that area.

A few years ago I was asked to locate the finding ad of a Guangdong Province girl. After locating her ad, we detected another child, whose ad was published in a different newspaper, but who was found a few yards from the first child on the same day, and who had an identical birth date. We alerted the adoptive family of this second child, and told them there was a distinct possibility that she was a sibling.

A year later we performed a research project to the orphanage that this child came from, and the adoptive family of the second child joined the project also. We put both families in touch with each other, and subsequent DNA testing determined a probable relationship between the two girls.

This is one example of how looking at the "forest" from which our children come can allow us to make exciting discoveries.

The Birth Parent Analysis reports will look at several data sets. First, we look at the overall orphanage statistics from 2000-2008. How many children were adopted? How many of those were boys and girls, healthy and Special Needs? We then look at the finding location distribution. Against this background we look at the finding location of your child -- were other children found at this location? If so, when? How many were found in the general area? Are there local press reports that shed light on these patterns?

Combining all of this analysis will allow adoptive families a clearer picture concerning birth-parent search probabilities and finding location accuracy. Armed with this information families can decide if searching for more information will be fruitful.

___________________

More information on Research-China.Org's Birth Parent Search Analysis can be found here. Data is available from 2000 forward in most cases. There is no charge if we are not confident that our data is complete for your child's orphanage.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

My question is, what do we do with this information once it is given to us? Are there researchers who will look for birthparents or information about birthparents out there for China. My understanding is there is not. The only person I ever found was you and you found very little information due to the unique circumstances surrounding our daughter's finding. So is there some new resource you can tell us about as well.
Lissa S.

Research-China.Org said...

I have a few people in China that I have do research of this kind, but it is on an invitation basis only. The practical reality is that it is relatively expensive to send someone into an area, spend a few days to a week nosing around, etc. Thus, when I find a situation that looks highly probable of success, I let the family know resources are available.

The reports are useful in judging the probabilities of finding birth parents without spending a large amount of money up-front. If there is a good chance of success, and the family wants to proceed, we can then discuss options.

Brian

Anonymous said...

I think for this to really be a useful you need to let people know where you have researchers available. For instance is there anyone who could do research in Xing Ye in Guangxi? If you find that it's not feasible to search (or you have no contact there) do you refund monies?
Lissa S.

Research-China.Org said...

The report is to let families know if searching will be most likely fruitful or not. The reports don't involve actual searching, which would be a completely different undertaking.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Yes, I know that. What I was asking was if you don't have someone near there already then I'm basically paying you not just to tell me if the situation is possible, but if YOU can possibly accomodate that situation. So again. Do you have a researcher who can accomodate a search in that area? Also, what is a price estimate to an actual search if it does look promising. I know it's a case by case thing...but a ballpark would be nice. $100, $500, $5000, $10,000?

Lissa S.

Research-China.Org said...

The fees depend on travel, how long the search is done, etc. It is impossible to know before hand, but a ball-park would be $150 per day.

I am not able to do a full-scale birth family search business. I am able to assist families in determining whether such a search is likely to meet success. Beyond that cases are handled on individual basis.

My recommendation would be to order the report and see what information comes from that. We can then discuss your options.

Brian

Donna said...

This sounds interesting.

I've received finding ads for our two daughters from you and they're pretty basic. Additionally, I've visited the finding spot for each of our girls and I can't imagine that you'd be able to draw many conclusions about locating birth parents from the minimal information that was recorded in the newspaper.

Do your contacts dig up the original police report, interview the people who found the child, look at the child's file at the SWI, talk to the Director, etc?

Donna

Research-China.Org said...

The first step is to determine whether what the orphanage tells families is accurate. This is done by analyzing all of the finding locations, adoption numbers, etc. from 2000 to 2007. This sheds light on whether a child's story is accurate or not.

Second, the location itself is analyzed. How many kids are found at this location? Does the choice of finding location shed light on whether a birth family could be found?

Combining this with data from the orphanage area itself will paint a realistic picture of what is involved in doing a BP search.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Why would someone want to find a birth parent and what would you do if you did?

Seems that the negative effect on a child or teenager could be huge -- sometimes things should be left alone - the reality is not ladybugs and moon cakes.

Research-China.Org said...

While the BP report we produce isn't designed to just locate birth parents (it is also designed to confirm or question the overall accuracy of the finding location information received by families), there are several reasons to locate a birth family.

1) As recent events have shown, medical emergencies might require obtaining medical information or cooperation for your child.

2) A mistake often made by parents is assuming their child will never want to know their BPs. While I oppose introducing a child to birth parents uninvited, I also strongly believe it is our responsibility to assist in locating a birth family if our adoptive child one day seeks that contact. Given the transitory nature of China's population, preparing for that possibility is our responsibility.

Brian

Anonymous said...

From the birth parents you have talked with - in general are they really interested in what happend to their child. You have said in the past that many do not even know about IA and the abandonment its just something that "had to be done".

NE

Anonymous said...

This is something that interests me too. Do the birth family really want to have contact, or do they have a great interest in finding out about thoer child. Also, in your experience, if a child was found to be trafficked do you have any idea how the parents would feel if they were to find out about their child, would they want to know?

Obviously in the case of a child being kidnapped than I know that the parents would want all the information they could get their hands on.

Research-China.Org said...

It is impossible to give a definitive answer, and much depends on the circumstances of the birth family. If they willingly sold their child to an orphanage, I doubt they would ever want to make contact. One can see this when trafficking rings are disrupted in China -- even though the children are publicized, no one comes forward.

If a child is kidnapped and adopted, the birth family is always desperate to keep in contact. I am in frequent contact with the families from Gaoping who had their kids confiscated by the Family Planning. They beg me to get information, but the adoptive family is unwilling to communicate.

And if I child is simply abandoned? Again it depends on the pressures that were at play -- was the child truly unwanted? If so, I doubt the birth family will want to revisit the experience. Did one parent want to keep the child and the other not? In this case, I would imagine that some knowledge would be wanted.

Overall, I think a majority of birth families would be apprehensive, but it is a very individualized situation -- one never knows until one tries.

Brian

Marianne pour "les cousines de Xuwen" said...

Off topic, if I may say so...
hi Brian, just found a most interesting Washington Post article (published 11th January 2009).
http://www.brandeis.edu/investigate/gender/adoption/docs/AdoptionUnderworldWashingtonPost.pdf
But I am sure you've seen it already.
Best regards

French Marianne

Research-China.Org said...

EJ's article has seen a wide discussion. Unfortunately, she did little primary research in China, relying instead on conventional wisdom and out-dated information. The reality is that China exhibits all of the same problems as Cambodia, etc.

A good read nonetheless.

Brian

Anonymous said...

I know it is homeless to find the birthparents of my daughter. She was in the Chongqng SWI, which is huge and in the largest populated area in China. People stream into that city to work everyday from the surrounding villages. My daughter was found within walking distance of a major bus station so I know it would be impossible in our case. Which is too bad because I would love to just meet them.

Research-China.Org said...

It is hard to tell what one would find from just a finding location. One must first assess the information's validity, determine any connections the location might have the BP, etc.

That is why families are finding these reports so valuable.

BRian

Anonymous said...

do you think it is worth getting this report for our daughter? She was left in Jiangsu province in January 1998.
Secondly, you said you might have some people who can look for a child's birth parents. Our daughter longs to figure this out.
Can I contact you off blog or do you have someone else I can contact about this?
Our daughter was left at Shatou Small Hospital and wound up in Yangzhou. Though we did verify
she was, in fact, left there we were not able to get any further information. Thanks.

Research-China.Org said...

At this point, we are most comfortable analyzing children adopted after 2000. A lot changed in China after about 2000, so any conclusions made from data after 2000 might not be valid for children before then.

Hopefully in the future we will have more data from the "early days".

Brian

Anonymous said...

Brian

Just to clarify, is there a service to have someone access my child's file at an orphanage? - we were unable to travel there in 2007. Or would a letter (in Mandarin) to the Director, from the adopting parents, be enough for him to copy the contents of the file?

Thanks,

Jo

Research-China.Org said...

Not a wide-spread service. We have contacts with some orphanages, but not enough to offer such a service.

Families often misunderstand what is in their child's orphanage file. It is comprised of xerox copies of all the adoption paperwork filled out by you when the adoption was completed. In addition, there is a copy of the police report. Primary documentation, such as medical files, etc., are kept at the CCAA.

The CCAA announced through the Dutch government late last year that it was willing to make their files open to adoptive families. The CCAA "showed to be prepared to accompany children in their request to see their adoption file when in the interest of their personal development." The promise was given to two different governments. Some recent requests from adoptive families, however, have been turned down and denied, contradicting earlier promises. It is impossible to know if these denials are predicated on which orphanage the files originate from, or some other criteria. Perhaps a "Lucky Money" envelope would help.

Good luck!!

Brian

Wendy said...

Speaking to the CCAA and answering requests, we just did this (in Oct.) and we did receive a response with the information we requested--we did include money for "processing/mailing". I know another family who did try and they did not include money and received nothing.

Anonymous said...

Access into orphanages costs money, obtaining crucial documents that really should be manditory costs money, finding out a foster parents name costs money.

For the right price and with the right connections you can get what you want however this would appear to be a bribe. Is this all about the contrast between cultures or is this another situation of how money corrupts a system?

I have heard about a service that has connections within China. For 600+ dollars they will go in and pay the orphanages for the information that is desired. Feeding money to these people seems criminal and part of the problem though so what do we do if we want the information but do not feel comfortable paying for it?

Research-China.Org said...

I am totally against paying any one in an orphanage for money. You are right, services such as "China-Babies" and Bruce Yu pay directors for the information. This creates obvious conflicts. While I understand the desire on the part of adoptive parents to obtain this information, what we are often creating is the "Yosemite Bears" situation, where more and more is expected.

BRian

Tanya said...

I am very interested in this as any information for my daughter is helpful if she ever wants it. What my question is, I looked at the other site where you go to order the report and it is just basically requiring the same information you needed for our finding report. I guess I was wondering if you needed anything like distinct markings on her body, etc? My little girl was born with several, so I know the parents would know her by that. What do you think?

Research-China.Org said...

The report isn't an actual birth parent search, but rather an analysis that allows you to determine if a search would be practical. Of course, if the birth parents left the marks on your daughter, that information would be used to verify that they are in fact her birth parents once you locate them.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Going through our paperwork--mounds of it the other day--we discovered we have quite a lot of information. The finding ad you gave us has a very specific, private location--including the name of the family who lives in the house. And the orphanage record has the name of the person who found her and brought her to the police (not the same as the people in the house), plus a list of items left with the baby. This would be great elsewhere, but in migrant-laded DongGuan City...not so much! I'm happy to pay for the analysis, but if it gives positive odds...will you offer us help in finding someone to do the search? I'd also love to contact the person who found her, I have the name in both Pinyin and characters...hearing about her finding would be wonderful...is there a way to find someone to do that?

Research-China.Org said...

We have someone who can help in Dongguan. We will have to see the results of the analysis, but I'm confident we can help with the next step.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Do you have someone in Jiangxi?
Regards,
Eva

Research-China.Org said...

I have a researcher that can go to Jiangxi if the situation presents compelling reasons to believe a BP search would be successful.

BRian

Anonymous said...

We belong to an orphanage group where we've shared finding locations. The orphange is small with a low rate of referrals. We know for a fact that many of the children have false finding locations and fabricated finding information. The orphanage has even been caught lying about simple things like foster care and feeding. Since my child's finding information (two stories) are likely fabricated, I don't see how an analysis would help at all.

Research-China.Org said...

In cases like that, the analysis would likely only show that the orphanage is laundering children, which would give adoptive parents information that a BP search might be difficult. This is the situation with many of the orphanages, but it is helpful to know the specific data for each orphanage, since Yahoogroups only represent a small sample of the total families that have adopted.

Brian

Anonymous said...

How long will it take to do a Birth parent analysis? Once the information is submitted to you? I am interested in doing this. Are many people requesting this type of service? Does your contact actually meet the finders for the report?

M

Research-China.Org said...

We are currently working to fill orders already placed, but should be caught up by the beginning of April. The report doesn't involve traveling to China, so we don't meet with finders.

The reports have been very, very helpful to families, and many have ordered them.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian,

I really find this site interesting, although it also brings a lot of questions... for instance, when you say "analyzing all of the finding locations, adoption numbers, etc. from 2000 to 2007"... how do you gather that information from an orphanage? Have every child his/her finding ad? How do you know in which newspapers you can find finding ads? Each orphanage publish its ad in a concrete newspaper? Are this finding ads accurate? How does it work? I would really appreciate if you could be more specific...

Our child is from Huainan, Anhui Province but the orphanage didn't give much information.There is any chance you could give us more?

Thanks so much.
Ann.

Research-China.Org said...

Every child adopted from an orphanage has a finding ad published. I have collected all of the finding ads from the orphanages, most going back to 1999.

I have a lot of information on Huainan, for example. We have the finding ads from 1999 forward, plus we have our own experiences in that city, having visited in 2004. The question of the finding ads accuracy is one of the main answers provided by the Birth Parent Reports, as some orphanages do fabricate information.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian,

I applied for this PBA right at the beginning last January, and still have nor recieved word... I am wondering how long should we expect to wait, if there are delays etc...

Kind regards,
M

Research-China.Org said...

I am very sorry for the delays in getting the early orders done. In order to make any headway through the backlog, we are analyzing one Province at a time. Currently we are working on Chongqing, and Hunan and Guangxi are up next.

If you could e-mail me privately I can tell you when your report might be done. I can also assure you that even with the wait, everyone that has received their report has given it tremendous reviews.

Brian