China’s new international adoption law, set to take effect on May 1, 2007, will prohibit international adoption of Chinese children by single adults. International adoption is a popular avenue for prospective adoptive parents in the United States, and because China has been a major source of internationally adopted children, these new laws will significantly impact the steady trend of U.S. citizens adopting abroad. It is unlikely that China’s more stringent adoption requirements will affect U.S. domestic adoption policies even though the requirements will hinder adoption by some U.S. prospective parents. Accordingly, United States citizens who cannot meet the new Chinese adoption standards will have to adopt less “adoptable” children, look to other sender-countries, pursue options like reproductive technology, or decide to forego parenthood altogether.
I begin by examining the specifics of China’s proposed international adoption law and China’s international adoption policies. Next, I briefly consider China’s role as a significant sender-country to the United States. Finally, I explore the likely impact of the Chinese tightening adoption standards on potential U.S. adoptive parents, looking specifically at the alternatives that the parents who will no longer be able to adopt from China can pursue.
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