Friday, January 13, 2012

Research-China.Org's Birth Parent Search Group

I have received a lot of inquiries over the past week about membership in our recently launched Chinese Birth Parent Search Group.  Since most of the e-mails ask the same questions, I thought I would take an opportunity to address some of the most common questions and concerns.

First, the group was started because it was recognized that most of the other birth parent search groups in existence suffered from some serious handicaps.  These include an unwarranted fear of legal action should members on a group speak negatively of an adoption agency, researcher, or other entity, resulting in members's inability to openly discuss project results, tactics, and success rates of searchers.  This, in my opinion, seriously undermined the value of these groups.

Second, because many adoptive families lack an overall perspective of their child's orphanage program, to say nothing of the China program in general, valuable time is often wasted discussing options for searching that in practice are highly ineffective, and often counter-productive to a successful search.  For example, a common "search" technique employed by adoptive families is the placement of posters and other notices around an area.  While this idea may sound promising in theory, in practice it often damages the chances for a successful search.

As a result of these problems in other groups, Research-China.Org decided to form an "invitation-only" group of committed adoptive families with the goal of forming an open, non-restricted and informed group of families willing to share successful ideas, and to discuss issues and problems with searching in orphanages across China.

Because we feel this group is for "non-beginners", a requirement to gaining membership in our group is the purchase of our Birth Parent Search Analysis.  We instigated this requirement to insure that each member was as educated about the obstacles and opportunities related to their specific child as possible.  How can an adoptive family know, for example, if putting up posters would help or hurt their chances of a successful search if they are not fully aware of the situation found in their child's orphanage?  To take a well-known example, an adoptive family could commit significant financial resources to searching for a birth family in the Changning, Hengshan or Qidong orphanages in Hunan Province, unaware that over 90% of the children adopted from those orphanages originated in Guangdong Province.  Thus, a requirement to join the group is the purchase of our "Birth Parent Search Analysis", in order to insure that every member is "up to speed" on their child's orphanage.  This insures that the conversations on the search group are educated and informed. 

There are plenty of generic search groups available for adoptive families, and we did not feel the world needed another one.  But we felt that a serious search group, comprised of informed and knowledgeable families, would be an asset to the adoption community.  Our search group, combined with the information contained in our "Birth Parent Search Analysis", is a powerful tool to educate families on the viability of a successful search, and what steps should be taken to maximize the chances of a successful search.