Monday, December 30, 2013

New Subscription Blog Pricing

 Changes to Our Subscription Blog
Research-China has been around for over ten years, and in that time we have evolved and broadened our offerings to adoptive families.  We thought it might be helpful to present what exactly we have to offer families, and why they should seriously consider contacting us for information about their child.

Subscription Blog (link to subscribe) -- After four years of researching in-depth articles about China's program, we find that it is very difficult to continue our "once a month" page for new essays.  As a result, we are changing the subscription policy for our subscription blog.  Until further notice, the rate for the blog will be $20 for a life-time subscription.  Subscribing now will give you access to the over 50 articles we have already published, as well as any future articles.

Articles we have already published include:

What to Tell – And When (Telling your child their history) -- Some adoptive parents mistakenly think that searching for their child's birth family should be delayed until the child is older, or makes the decision themselves.  Drawing on personal experiences, we present an option that minimizes all of the risks involved.
“Modern” Dying Rooms (Dianjiang Orphanage) -- Press story from inside China detailing problems in this large Chongqing orphanage. 

Police Reports: Why They're Important & Why They Are Not (How reliable are police reports?)
"The Missing Girls of China" -- David Smolin (Discussion of this important article)
Putting the "Quota" Myth to Bed (Are orphanages limited in how many children they can submit?  We disprove this idea one last time.)
When Problems Come Home (A personal reflection on the changing story of my daughter's finder)
One-on-One Interview with an Orphanage Director (What pressures does an orphanage director face, and how does it impact what adoptive families are told?)
Creative Searching Techniques by Chinese Birth Families (Methods employed by those inside China searching for lost children)
"Feeling, Reason & the Law of China are Contradictory"  (Interview with an orphanage director engaged in baby-buying, and how they see the problems facing adoption)
Changing the Birth Dates of Adoptees (How accurate are the birth dates assigned to children?)
Birth Parent Search Results -- LePing, Jiangxi (Summary of our research birth parent search project in one area)
Selective Abortion in China: A Personal Experience (A family friend struggles in dealing with a pregnancy of a girl)
A Research Project Ride-Along (How do we know where to go to see success in birth parent searches?  What do we look at?)
How & Why an Orphanage Joins the IA Program (What must an orphanage do to join the IA program, and why are there so many that haven't joined?)
The Wide Cultural Divide (A Chinese blogger that grew up in an orphanage shares some stories that give prospective to the differences in cultural viewpoints)
Love Without Boundaries & the Demographics of China Adoption (We dissect a recent LWB blog article discussing reasons behind the slowdown in Chinese adoptions)
Lan's Journal of Life & Research (Part I & II) (My wife writes about her personal live stories, and how they influence the way she sees her research experiences, including how our daughter's Chinese birth family see us as adoptive parents)

We have also dug deep into the various Provinces involved in adoption, and discuss finding patterns and other qualities peculiar to each Province and the orphanages found in each: 
A Look at the Provinces I: Chongqing Municipality
A Look at the Provinces II: Jiangxi Province
A Look at the Provinces III: Hunan
A Look at the Provinces IV: Guangxi
A Look at the Provinces V: Guangdong
A Look at the Provinces VI: Jiangsu
A Look at the Provinces VII: Anhui
A Look at the Provinces VIII: Henan

Our subscription blog represents the most comprehensive source of factual information available about China's adoption program, and the histories of the thousands of children that have been adopted. 

At only $20 for unlimited access, it is our best value for this important information. 

Our subscription blog is designed to answer questions of active and engaged adoptive families.  We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee that your subscription will be worthwhile.  You will learn things you never thought possible.


Other offerings from Research-China.Org include:

Finding Ads --Research-China.Org began with the discovery of Guangdong finding ads in 2002.  After adopting our daughter Meigon that year, I was refused a copy of her finding ad by the orphanage (as were all adoptive families at that time).  We began collecting newspapers, and today have the finding ads for over 100,000 children.  Adoptive families are now often provided copies of their child's finding ads at adoption, a response by the Chinese government to our business, but these are often poor-quality xerox copies.

There are several reasons why families should contact us for their child's finding ad, even if they already have a copy.  First, it allows us to see if we have other information about your child besides the finding ad itself.  In the decade of researching, we have located many foster families, finders, birth families, etc., of many children for whom we don't have contact information.  There is no cost or obligation to requesting your child's finding ad, and you may be surprised at what other opportunities we have for you.

Second, the finding ad given to families is sometimes a second or even a third "edition," with previous ads being published with different photos, etc.  We have all of these ads, so you may be surprised to learn that another finding ad was published for your child that was not provided you, with an earlier photo of your child that you didn't know existed. 

Your child's finding ad is the earliest documentation that exists for your child, and aside from the photo is an important artifact of your child's personal history. 

Foster Family Contact Information -- Since 2006 we have been collecting contact information of foster families all across China.  These women are anxious to keep informed on how their foster children are doing, share early photos and anecdotes with the adoptive families, etc.  If your child is on our list, or you know someone whose child is on the list, please contact us for the direct mailing address of the family.  Orphanages habitually work to prevent adoptive families from getting in contact with foster families, so this opportunity is of immense importance to adoptive families. 

Birth Parent Search (BPSA)/Orphanage Reliability Analysis (ORA) --  These two reports are an in-depth look at your child's orphanage, its adoption history, and its demographic make-up.  We believe that by comparing your child's finding circumstances with those of all the other children adopted from the same orphanage, very important conclusions can be drawn that have serious implications for how your child will understand their history.  Both reports provide an important summary of important data trends and characteristics, and both draw on data from Baidu searches of area blogs and media sources, contacts in many areas, finding ad data, and our own research experiences.  These reports concisely present all that is known about your child's orphanage, and how your child may have come into the orphanage. 

Our BPSA is for those adoptive families who are considering a search for their child's birth family, and includes membership in our birth parent search group, the largest group of its kind.  On this group are families ranging from "just learning" to those in contact with their child's birth family.  The depth of experience of our member families is unparallelled anywhere.  Participants in our birth parent search projects are drawn from families that have ordered this report.

The ORA is for families not interested in searching, but wanting more information about their child's orphanage.  This report contains a bit more analysis of finding patterns, etc., but is largely the same as our BPSA.  A family need only order one of the reports to gain all the information about their child and their orphanage.

Orphanage Data Books --  Forming the foundation of our personalized Birth Parent Search Analysis or Orphanage Reliability Analysis, the orphanage data books contain all of the finding data for the children submitted from the orphanage since 1999 or when the orphanage joined the international adoption program.  Arranged chronologically by finding date in table form, the data allows a family to see if other children were found the same day as their child, how many children were found at a child's finding location, how many total children have been adopted, and many other pieces of information.  The data is introduced by an informative introduction that provides keys to interpreting the data and drawing conclusions.  Nicely bound in hardcover 6x9 format with color illustrations and exhibits, the data book is a very important piece of your child's orphanage history.  Most Guangdong orphanages currently available, with Hunan, Jiangxi and Guangxi orphanages coming early 2013.

 DVDs/Photos -- Since 2002, Research-China.Org has researched in over 60 orphanages across China.  The results of each research project is put to a nice video DVD.  Generally, the orphanage itself is profiled, as well as many finding locations and other interesting sites around the city.  The DVDs provide a very nice "time capsule" of the area when many of the children lived there, and thus are very important glimpses into our children's pre-adoption lives.  A large photo archive is also available, where families can order orphanage, finding location, and other photos of interest.

Maps -- As we have wandered around the various cities and towns of China, we have stopped and collected hundreds of area maps.  These are perfect for Life Books, or just to mark with your child's finding location, orphanage, and other important locations.  Priced at only $10, they are an exceptional value.

Coffee Table Books -- A recent addition, our orphanage photo books provide a complementary way of presenting your child's history to our DVDs.  Beautifully produced, our orphanage books provide gorgeous photos of your child's orphanage area, the orphanage itself, area foster families, and other interesting images.  Our books can be customized with your child's finding ad to add that personal touch, making the book "their" book.

Translation Services -- One of the benefits to having a thoroughly experienced native Chinese member on our staff (my wife Lan) is that she is able to provide important translation expertise to our families.  If you have something you need accurately translated (foster family letters, adoption documents, police reports, etc.), Lan can help.  Lan's expertise is one of the primary reasons an adoptive family should contact us, as she is both extremely knowledgeable about China's orphanages, as well as understanding the cultural view points of both sides of the ocean.  She is the heart of the Research-China.Org organization.


By taking advantage of our research opportunities, an adoptive family will not only learn much regarding their child's pre-adoption history, but also come to thoroughly understand the China program itself.  This information will allow an adoptive parent to answer their child's questions with authority, real data and information, allowing the parent to have confidence in their statements to their child.  The questions will come; it is up to us as adoptive families to have the information at hand to answer them.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Adoption Advisory: Luoyang City Orphanage, Henan Province

Over the past two years, we have worked with nearly a dozen families that have had their lives financially and emotionally destroyed by the adoption of children from the Luoyang orphanage.  We have written frequently about Luoyang and its deceptive "aging out program," but we feel it is time to re-iterate our deep concern for families seeking to adopt children from this orphanage:

Don't do it. 

Several adoption agencies have also not been acting in good faith as it relates to Luoyang.  Families we have worked with have written of their experiences with Luoyang, and the devastating impact these adoptions have had on their families.  They have admonished their agency to cease working with Luoyang, only to be told by their agency statements such as that even if the children are not really orphaned, the program allows children to come "to Christ" through adoption.  Adoptive families have been told that even if 90% of adoptions from Luoyang are fraudulent, to think about the 10% of the children who really need homes.  Thus, families are encouraged to see "the big picture" in their adoption, and not to speak publicly since that might discourage the "saving" of other children.

We recognize that the possibility exists for true orphans to be found in Luoyang, but families must recognize that it is impossible to confidently ascertain if a child is a true orphan or an area recruit for "education" prior to adoption.  The orphanage has worked hard to disguise these adoptions, have told the children to lie to their adoptive families about the true nature of their histories, and have emotionally manipulated these children into hiding the truth from adoptive families.  The CCAA, when confronted by angry adoptive families about Luoyang adoptions, responded with a letter to each family on March 20, 2013. After reviewing the official circumstances behind each family’s adoption, the CCAA made the following statement:

After the child was admitted into the CWI, to find an adoptive family for the children, the orphanage prepared and submitted their files as orphans for international adoption. Per the adoption laws and regulations of China, the provincial Civil Affairs Office was in charge of reviewing the child’s file and forwarded it to the China Center of Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA.) Following regulations and protocols the CCCWA matched the children with families. It’s not CCCWA’s responsibility to check the truthfulness of a child’s file and CCCWA has no means to decide if the information is accurate or not. Foreign adoption agencies are not authorized to check the truthfulness of information in a child’s file in China. 

The lack of transparency and the inability of adoptive families and agencies to obtain accurate information about a child pre-adoption should serve as major warning flags to all Chinese adoptions, but especially those from Luoyang.

Adoption agencies will try to make you feel guilty about not adopting from Luoyang.  They will tell you that if your don't complete the adoption, the child will be turned out onto the street, with no home or family.  In the case of Luoyang, this is almost always a lie.  They will indicate that it is normal for a young, healthy male child to come into the orphanage at 8 or 9 years old, and that older children can easily not remember who their birth parents are, where they lived, etc.

The red flags are almost always present in the finding statements of these children.  The trick is for adoptive families not to be conned by the agency, the CCAA, and the orphanage into adopting these children.  Doing so brings unhappiness to the children, the Chinese birth families, but especially severe financial, emotional, and sometimes physical jeopardy to the adoptive families themselves.

January 13, 2014:
Another adoptive family has decided to speak up about their experiences with the Luoyang orphanage:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The "Must Reads" of the Research-China.Org Blog

If you are reading this, you are probably an adoptive parent of a child from China, or interested in China's international adoption program.  Research-China.Org has been researching China's orphanages for over a decade, and the articles presented on this blog are written with adoptive families in mind.  But since we began this blog in August 2005, we have written over a hundred different articles.  Many were written in response to incidents of small import, others were in-depth investigative pieces written in response to major events in the history of China's adoption program.  Navigating these articles is laborious and time-consuming.  So, to make it easier for readers to find the "meat" of the blog, below are the ten most important articles we have published.  These ten articles will allow the reader to gain important insight and information on China's adoption program.

1)  "My Agenda" -- Adoptive families, like all people, are very emotional when it comes to their children -- the stories they tell them, how they perceive the program, and how their adoption journey is viewed by themselves and others.  If you write "rainbows and lady bug" stories supportive of China's program, you are welcomed and quoted.  But beware the day you speak out about a disrupted adoption, a bad experience with an orphanage, or point out and discuss articles about corruption:  Then you are looked at askance, your motives are questioned, and many begin to think you have an "agenda".  In most cases, this is a very simplistic view to take, but many use it to ignore information they are not prepared to learn.  This essay was written in response to those who question my "agenda".  Why do I work to inform adoptive parents of issues they should know about with respect to China's program in general, and their own child's adoption in particular?  Do I really want to end international adoption from China?  This essay answers these questions.

2)  "The Dark Side of China's 'Aging Out Orphan' Program" -- Nothing pulls on a heart string like the thought that a child will never be adopted.  In recent years, as the number of healthy young baby girls has declined, some orphanages have begun offering Western families older, "aging out" children.  Obstensibly children that have lived for many years in an orphanage, recent events show that in many cases, these children have been recruited from birth families under deception and intentional fraud.  If you are considering the adoption of an older "orphan," this investigative piece is a "must read."

3) "The Hague Agreement and China's International Adoption Program" -- Originally written for Adoptive Families Magazine, negative push-back from the China adoption community caused the editor to pull the article.  However, to date no more comprehensive essay into the ethical issues of China's international adoption program has been written.  The article is based on a comprehensive survey of all the orphanages involved in China's international adoption program in 2006, questions presented by a Chinese native seeking to adopt a child domestically.  The findings of this survey, combined with other data references, show that China's international adoption program runs aground of many of the Hague's prescriptions and goals.

4)  "The Finances of Baby Trafficking" -- Written just as the Hunan scandal of November 2005 was breaking, this essay is essential reading if one wants to understand why orphanages get involved in baby-buying.  The tension between domestic and international adoption is explored, as well as the hurdles orphanages place in the paths of families inside China who seek to adopt.

5) "What Are the Problems in China" -- To understand China's adoption program, it is necessary to take a journey back to its beginnings and trace the changes it has undergone.  In this way one can determine if the "China Myth" of millions of unwanted girls being abandoned is true today, or if not, when it was true.  An interview with an orphanage employee from Jiangxi Province discusses when their employer began baby-buying, and for what reasons.  This essay also discusses characteristics that allow an adoptive family to detect whether trafficking is occurring in their own child's orphanage. 

6)  The Hunan Scandal Explained -- Discerning adoptive families recognize that the Hunan scandal was a turning point in China's international adoption program.  Following the scandal, the number of available children declined sharply, and the wait time for families wanting to adopt a child increased from under a year to the current five years.  Was the Hunan scandal an isolated event, or was it simply the tip of the proverbial iceberg?  By knowing what happened in the scandal, readers are in a better position to determine that important fact.  A three-part article published by Deng Fei in the Shenzhen-based magazine "Fenghuang Weekly" represent the most accurate reporting on the background, causes and prosecution of those involved in the Hunan scandal.
a) Hunan -- One Year After -- Part One
b) Infant Trafficking: One Family's Story
c) Hunan, One Year Later III: Reactions & Reflections

7)  "Mirror, Mirror" -- How does a domestic family adopt a child inside China?  Do the Chinese submit dossiers to the CCAA?  Must they do home studies?  How much does it cost?  To gain insight into these and other questions we spoke with Jiang Lan, who together with her husband adopted an infant from the Huadu orphanage in Guangdong.  The differences between their journey and most adoptive families is fascinating.

8)  "Ripples" -- My research for nearly half of the last decade focused on getting police reports, photos, and other orphanage information for families.  That changed when I finally located and interviewed my daughter's foster mother in 2005.  In the blink of an eye, I came to recognize that the time my daughter spent with this family was transformative, and that this woman held the key to my understanding the orphanage program, as well as events in my own daughter's life. 

9) "Creating 'Paper-Ready Children'"-- The idea that a submission "quota" is in place, and that this quota explains the decline in adoptions, goes against all evidence and data.  This article details the steps involved in submitting a child for adoption by the orphanages, and a knowledge of the paperwork process invalidates the theory that the current wait times, rule changes, etc., are results of not enough "paper-ready" children. In fact, every indicator suggests that it is exactly as asserted by the CCAA, an imbalance between the number of families applying to adopt, and the number of healthy children coming into China's orphanages.

10)  "What to Tell, and When" -- Although each adoptive family approaches the presentation of information to their child differently (each child is, after all, unique), there does seem to be a tendency among some adoptive families to "overfeed" their children information.   This article works from the premise that we should empower our children to make the decisions of what they want to know and when.  By doing so, I believe we give them the power to determine their own identities.

If you would like to obtain a more detailed treatment of these topics, you will want to join our "Rest of the Story" subscription blog.  On that blog we analyze the adoption patterns of many orphanages in Hunan, Jiangxi, Chongqing, Guangdong, Guangxi and Anhui Provinces.  We have also discussed birth parent searching and other topics of immense interest.  The subscription fee is only $20 per year, and we guarantee you will find it worth every penny. 

We hope you find these articles enlightening.  If you have any questions about our other offerings, such as our Birth Parent Search Analysis, Finding Ads, Orphanage DVDs and Photos, or translation services, please let us know.

Monday, September 02, 2013

DNAConnect.Org is in the Air!

We announced on this blog a month ago the creation of a new searching tool to be utilized by adoptive families and Chinese adoptees interested locating birth families.

DNAConnect.Org has a simple purpose -- to allow DNA to be efficiently collected in China. As most readers are no doubt aware, in the past many opportunities have been lost to collect DNA from a birth family that is met in China, either while an adoptive family is on a "Heritage Tour" with their child, or when found through a "searcher." In the past, the high cost of buying a DNA kit, maintaining the contact information for the birth family, etc., have made collecting "non-familial" DNA unpractical.

Thanks to the generosity of the Chinese adoption community and others, we have raised funding to purchase the DNA vials in bulk. We have transferred some of those kits to China, and over the next few months will begin collecting DNA from known birth families in China. We have sufficient funds to process these samples for submission into a large U.S. DNA database, and are hopeful that matches will occur.

In order to foster transparency and increase accountability, we have recently added a Board of Directors. These four individuals are prominent members of the adoption community, either as adoptees, China adoptive families, or as members of the larger internaitonal adoption community. DNAConnect.Org's board will oversee fundraising, marketing, and community awareness. In this way it is hoped that DNAConnect.Org becomes a community effort, whose goal and objectives is simple: Provide our adoptive children with as many options as possible to search for and find biological relatives through DNA testing. 

As adoptive parents, all of us should realize that helping our children in this effort is one of our primary responsibilities. In the coming months we will be updating our DNAConnect.Org Facebook page with successes. We will detail where the DNA is being collected, how many matches are being found, etc.

We can use your help. Please spread the word in your adoption communities. "Like" us on FB, talk about us on your FCC groups, orphanage newsgroups, and other China adoption groups.  And consider being a financial supporter

The success of this project rests with the adoption community.  By supporting this project you will allow DNA to be collected and contact information with family members in China maintained.  If you are among our first supporters, you will have a "donation brick" placed on our wall of honor as one of the first supporters of this vision. 

DNAConnect.Org has the potential of changing the face of relative searching. Please join us in helping to "pay it forward."  The beneficiary may one day be you.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

DNAConnect.Org Launch

Most in the adoption community recognize the growing participation, both by adoptive parents and adoptees themselves, in birth parent searches. While Research-China.Org was born in 2002 to provide families with finding ads, now we are primarily focused on assisting families in birth parent searching, both through our orphanage analysis and through our birth parent search projects.

Over the past five years, as we have sought out birth families for project participants, we have met birth families for other children for whom we had no contact information. These chance encounters have in the past resulted in little more than a brief conversation, a promise to try and locate a child, and then disappearing. Unless a potential birth parent matched the criteria for one of our project children, there was no ability to collect DNA from these chance encounters. I know from conversations with other searching adoptive families that this is not a rare occurrence, as they too have met birth families of other, unknown children, and they too have not been able, due to financial and logistical constraints, to take DNA samples for later matching.

The problem was complicated by the DNA technology at the time. Even if a DNA sample was collected by cheek swab, where do you send it? Where could the information be stored so that months, years, or decades later a match could be found and a connection made? With the problem of dozens of potential matches being unutilized, and the recognition that an increasing number of adoptive families would experience the same thing over the coming years, the need for a company like DNAConnect.Org became obvious.

The premise is simple -- As a community, we come together and "pay it forward." We all help collect DNA from anyone, anywhere in China, in order to allow a future searching adoptive family or adoptee the opportunity to make a match down the road. By purchasing the DNA collection vials in bulk and providing them to searching families for no cost, the financial barrier to collecting DNA in China is eliminated. As a result, DNA can be collected from hundreds, if not thousands, of birth parents in China, with that DNA being submitted to an established centralized data base. Contact information from the donor is collected and maintained going into the future, so that if a match is made to a searching adoptee down the road, contact is possible. By harnessing the efforts of all of our labors, many in the China community will be benefited that otherwise would never be. DNAConnect.Org will convert the thousands of chance encounters experienced by the hundreds of searching families into viable and long-lasting opportunities.

As we launch this grand experiment, our goal is simple: Raise $10,000 to purchase and distribute DNA collection vials to traveling adoptive families. They will collect DNA from potential birth families, and return the vials to us. We will then process the sample for submission and inclusion in a DNA data base. We hope the adoption community sees the power of this project, and is willing to financially support it. All donations will be used for collection vials, shipping, and other project expenses. None will be used by Research-China.Org or anyone else for salaries, etc. 100% of the donation will be used to help this project grow and succeed.

We welcome all to join us in this experiment in community cooperation and support. We encourage you to visit DNAConnect.Org to learn more, and to help support this project.

Thank you.