Friday, September 01, 2006

Nothing new to report, other than CCAA is finished reviewing those dossiers they received in November 2005.

I've been letting a few of these little tidbits of info pile up and I thought I'd post them and get them out of my overflowing Inbox. All information comes from Dr. Jane Liedtke's "Ask Jane In China" Yahoo group.

First off, just a point of interest...the difference between provinces, and municipalities:

"There are four municipalities in China (very large cities) that are allowed to govern themselves just as a province (state) would. These 4 are: Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing and Shanghai. Provinces are like states. There are also special administrative regions (like Hong Kong), special economic zones (like Shenzhen), and autonomous regions (like Tibet) that are allowed to be governed separately in a similar fashion to a state/province."

Next, another interesting perspective from Dr. Liedtke. The question asked was, "Do you know how much of the home study the CCAA translates and do they actually read what is in the personal letter written by the prospective parents? As the age of children often appears to be different from the age requested I and my social worker were wondering about the translation of information."

"The entire home study is supposed to be translated and read. Now whether there are employees who do 100% of their job or if they are required/not required to read all of it is another question (they are government employees after all - no different than in any country in the world).

The age of child requested - often they will assign a child at the high end of the range requested versus the low end. The age is also dependent on travel groups. If a group of dossiers from one agency go to CCAA together as a bundle and the agency wishes to have everyone in the bundle travel to the same province then the CCAA is going to look to match the children they have from a given province with the group. Sometimes this means that a child could be older or younger than requested because the province has not submitted the children of the ages requested - ie, they aren't available at the time the group is processed so what children's files are sitting there in Beijing get processed.

While we'd like to think the match is intentional (reading the dossier and finding the perfect child to fit the dossier), there has to be some element of: here's a pile of dossiers and here's a pile of files on a worker's desk and within the day the matches are made. Therefore, if the ages requested aren't the same as the kids files sitting on the desk - guess what happens? The worker matches families anyway. I doubt they run around the office saying - "does anyone have a 6 month old I could use to match this family over here?"

And finally, someone asked is this slowdown is a result of the trend towards promoting domestic adoption in China.

"Domestic adoptions are encouraged through the new one-child policy that was instituted in Dec. 2004. However, the numbers (10,000 adoptions reported on the low end but they could be higher now) are not huge when compared to the population (1.26 billion persons) or compared to the number of births in China (1.7 million annually). CCAA is now responsible for all adoptions from the total of 1000 orphanages in China - both international and domestic (thus the slow-down - you have shifting offices, shifting employee roles, new employees, new procedures, getting a handle on domestic adoptions, promoting domestic adoptions, getting the 750 institutions that aren't international adoption-ready up to standards, etc etc etc). Add to all that the media focus on baby-trading in China and CCAA has it's hands full these days. It is highly responsible of CCAA to slow the process to be sure that they can get their staff up to speed and balance work loads, train new staff, and be ready for a larger volume of potential domestic adoptions. It doesn't mean they won't continue international adoptions, no way will they "shut down" that income stream. They are just adjusting their business for a larger scope and mission. We should all be thankful for their good work and increased attention to ALL the children who are institutionalized in China, not just those from 250 institutions allowed to adopt internationally."

Amen! I do so love her common sense and voice of reason amidst all of the horrible rumors...which I started reading again...I'm so weak! The latest is that the next batch of referrals will only include up to July 28th. Well, as I've taken to saying every single night when I get into the shower, "It doesn't matter. I'm still one more day closer to Claire."

Take care...more later.

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