China / Society

Adoptions decline after govt drops one-child policy

By LUO WANGSHU (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-27 07:54

Adoptions decline after govt drops one-child policy

A boy with his younger brother. [Photo by Zhai Xiaoyan/Provided to]

The relaxation of China's family planning policy has led to a drop in the number of children being adopted, a trend that is expected to continue.

The policy used to limit many couples to having a single child, but now allows all couples to have a second.

"The fall in the number of adoptions is the result of economic growth, improvements to the social welfare system and adjustment of the family planning policy," said a director at the Ministry of Civil Affairs' Department of Social Affairs.

"People's attitude to having children has also changed, and fewer parents are abandoning their children, which has resulted in fewer eligible adoptees at welfare institutions," said the director, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Adoptions decline after govt drops one-child policy

The number of children adopted by Chinese families has fallen in the past five years. According to the ministry, 29,618 adoption cases were competed in 2010, while last year the number dropped to 17,201.

Tong Xiaojun, director of the China Research Institute of Children and Adolescents, said, "Theoretically, relaxation of the family planning policy will continue to cause a decline in the number of adoptions."

Tong said two types of family have been the main groups seeking to adopt-couples unable to have their own children and those with a single child and wanting a second but could not have one because of the previous family planning policy.

"Many families in China want two children, a boy and a girl, to make a 'perfect family'," Tong said. "The Chinese written character for 'boy' and the character for 'girl' when put together form the character for 'good', adding to the allure."

China's Adoption Law states that qualified applicants must not have a child of their own. If they have a child, they can adopt a second if that child is an orphan, abandoned or a child with special needs in a welfare institution.

A director at a child welfare institution in Shanxi province, surnamed Liu, said only five children from his institution were adopted by Chinese families last year.

"There is a lot of pressure on couples raising a child with special needs, especially in China. With the easing of the one-child policy, people have the chance to have their own children. ... Who will seek to adopt?"

To make it easier for couples to adopt, the Ministry of Civil Affairs has been working on amending the Adoption Law since the family planning policy was changed in December.

Hot Topics