Thursday, April 20, 2006

WikiHOW: How to Adopt a Chinese Baby

A subset of the incredible Wiki online encyclopedia (I consider it a knowledge base) is the WikiHOW series. They post a dizzying array of HowTo articles written by people supposedly with experience in their particular areas of knowledge. Of course, sometimes you'll get someone talking out their a** about something of which they know nothing but just as in Wiki, the writer generally gets called to task on it and the piece gets either yanked or corrected for accuracy.

I was kind of surprised (even me!) when I saw this piece come up today on How to Adopt a Baby from China (probably written by some Hollywood starlet who needs to upgrade from her Paris Hilton-style chihuahua?). I'm very torn on the social implications of global adoption but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. The long-term ripple effects of what we do are generally very hard to foresee. Think about it this way: For several decades, China followed a one-child-per-family policy under Mao's communist rule in order to maintain the "noble" cause of population control: control the growth of population and you'll better manage limited resources like food. However, the consequences that fell out of that were because of old social mores that made sons more desirable than daughters, given the choice. As a result, many baby girls were abandoned or simply given away to orphanages for years. The real consequence? Now there are too many young males in China and not enough women for romance and marriage causing a different kind of imbalance brought on by social re-engineering. They will be paying for this earlier mistake for generations to come. So now what happens when we start to introduce those children into our society over here? Food for thought...

(This image used under a Creative Commons license through Flickr)

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