How I Feel About China, the One-Child Policy, Adoption and More


It won’t stop popping up on my Facebook newsfeed, (actual) news sites and has been on my mind for the last few months. China has reversed it’s One-Child policy. A policy that is arguably the reason I am where I am today and who I am today. Before I continue further, some numbers according to BBCNews.

400 million births prevented

21:28 Infant Death Ration

1:16 boys born for every girl

4:2:1 Families (four grandparents, two parents, one kid)

Two trillion in fines.

Wow, those five facts say a lot.

400 million births prevented

Considering that China has been long overpopulated along with the rest of the world, this doesn’t mean much to me as it doesn’t factor in aborted pregnancies due to the one-child policy, but is a calculation based on the amount of people that probably would have had more than one child given that the policy was never put in place.

21:28 Infant Death Ration

This number does account for neglect of child, perhaps because of gender or accidents or illness, but is basically just stating that boy infants are outliving girl infants.

1:16 boys born for every girl

This statistic is perhaps the one that matters the most to me, or at least matters significantly for me to elaborate more because of the “sexually selective abortions.” This happened because families were only allowed to have one child, and once informed that they were going to have a girl, many people chose to abort the pregnancy in hopes that their one child would be a boy. A boy to carry on the family name. A boy because boys are seen as superior to girls.

Well guess what, at the time the consequences of this policy weren’t so clear. But they are becoming more crystal clear by the day and the problem is getting more immense. There is a severe population of boys relative to girls that is growing at an obscene rate as the one-child policy grows in age.

I am twenty-one. I am not looking for a life partner, but many people in the world at this age are. Imagine how difficult it must be in China where males outnumber the females in my age group. I was adopted back in 1994 before the mass waves of girl adoptees from China began to happen. China is going to see the consequences more and more each day and each year as the population ages and the one child policy effects become that much clearer.

4:2:1 Families (four grandparents, two parents, one kid)

China has a tradition that goes way back of living with your grandparents and parents, all who are helping to raise the kid. Only now these four people only have one kid to raise. Who will take care of the aging grandparents while the parents work and the kid is in school? On the flip side, there is a rise in the spoiled only child. Lisa Ling did an interesting publishing on the rise in the spoiled only child a while back that is worth taking a look at.

Two trillion in fines.

If caught breaking the one-child policy, families can pay up to 1.2 million dollars as one filmmaker did this past year. The new policy would only apply if you have more than two kids but still. It puts a price value on children. It’s the ultimate form of social control.

I don’t have an all time conclusion about how I feel as an adult Chinese-adoptee. However I do have feelings about it and understand that they will continue to grow and evolve as I do. What I do know is that I love my family and am grateful everyday for the life I have.

Not because I am an adoptee.

Not because I am an adoptee living in America.

But because I am a human and recognize that I live a life of blessings and joy despite the darkness and the light I face.

Not because I am adopted.

Because I am human.

What I will say for now is that, China, you made a big mistake. A mistake that I predict you will look back on as the greatest mistake in your entire history. I have been studying Chinese History in college the past semester and have learned about how you as a country have rose out of failure to become one of the greatest countries once again.

But how do you explain abandoning hundreds of thousands of girls (mostly girls….but boys too).

And none of our stories are the same or perfect, but a good majority of us went to loving families who are educating us at college and beyond.

We will be one of the most educated group of immigrants ever.

Eventually one day, it coming soon, we will all come knocking on your door and want answers.

I hope you have some.

Because we have a lot of questions.

I have been back to China, back to my orphanage and met the people who took care of me until I was united with my family at thirteen months. But I still have questions. I have questions that don’t need to be answered now. I’m busy living life. But eventually there is going to be a time when there are going to be a lot of us all wanting answers and you won’t be able to ignore us anymore.

I hope you are ready, I will be.

I love China, I love the people, the food, the culture, the sites and landmarks. Sincerely. I look forward to the day I will go back one day and can’t wait to see how my future unfolds and how China is a part of it.

But I am also American. And that is a privilege I recognize with everything that I am. Being American and having a passport with the stamp of American on it is powerful. It speaks when everyone else in the world is silent.

Those are my thoughts for now. I’m sure they will change, but take it for what it is.


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