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Globalization and international adoption from China

by Monica Dowling, Gill Brown
Child and Family Social Work ()
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Since the mid-1990s, China has become one of the major countries from which children are adopted overseas. This paper examines ways in which globalization has contributed to the development of international adoption from China and explores cultural and historical attitudes to population growth, child abandonment and adoption. How China's social, economic and welfare policies have affected adoption policies and practices are discussed, with reference to ethnographic fieldwork undertaken by the authors between 2001 and 2007. Interviews and group discussions were conducted with UK, Chinese and American adoptive parents, directors of social welfare institutes, Chinese welfare officials and staff of non-government organizations working in the area of adoption and fostering in China. While globalization has affected, and continues to affect inter-country adoption, its influence in China is analysed using Masson's value positions on international adoption – abolitionists, promoters and pragmatists. China's pragmatic approach to international adoption is considered in relation to policies that reflect the best interests of children in China and overseas.

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