Today’s New York Times reports that they will be tightening the rules on adoptions of Chinese orphans by foreigners due to an over balance of demand vs. supply. The theory is that by requiring more stringent requirements for potential parents, less people will be eligible, and the ones who are left will be wealthier, healthier, and hopefully provide a more stable environment for the children.
China has in recent years been the No. 1 source of foreign-born children adopted by Americans — in the fiscal year 2006, the State Department granted 6,493 visas to Chinese orphans — and its regulations on who can adopt have been less restrictive than those in some other countries, adoption agencies said.
I’m not sure exactly when the first adoption of a Chinese baby by an American citizen was, but I do know that the first attempted adoption of a Chinese baby by an American was in 1906, as I posted the official record of it about six weeks ago.
PEKING, September 6, 1906.
SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 218 of August 21, inclosing copies of your correspondence with Miss Carrie M. Ericksen regarding her proposed adoption of a Chinese baby girl as an American citizen and asking my opinion on the subject.
In reply I beg to say that I can find no record in this legation of a similar
case, but I am of the opinion that under the present laws the child could
not be declared a citizen of the United States through adoption. It might
be possible, however, for her to be brought to America for the purpose of
education under the laws governing persons of exempt classes, but that is
not the point upon which Miss Ericksen desires information.
I have submitted the case to the Department of State, and on receiving a
reply therefrom will immediately inform you of its contents.
Apparently the would-be mother, Miss Carrie M. Ericksen, was unable to adopt the child, but afterwards MAY have been able to obtain an entry visa for the purposes of education. It would be fascinating if somebody could track down the future fate of the woman and the child. Was the little girl brought to the United States? Was adoption ever arranged? Did she grow up in the US on a visa, and then naturalize through the normal procedure upon reaching adulthood?