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September 26, 2017

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Foundation outlines varied challenges facing children up for adoption

By Grace Soong--The Child Welfare League Foundation (CWLF, 兒童福利聯盟) reported to have received an average of 1.6 inquiry phone calls about giving children up for adoption per day in 2010, and further investigation indicated that one out of every two adoption cases resulted from premarital pregnancy, the foundation announced in Taipei, yesterday.

According to the CWLF, seven out of the 12 major cases of infant abandonment in Taiwan in 2011 were consequences of premarital sex, with six resulting in the infant dying. A survey completed by parents who sought help from the CWLF indicated that financial concerns remain the most crucial reason that children are given up for adoption, and premarital sex closely follows.

The CWLF is currently facing numerous problems finding adoptive families for children, as society now has ceased emphasizing the tradition of perceiving kids as necessary in a family. The number of families signing up to adopt children has decreased, and many potential parents pose specific preferences for what kind of baby they want to adopt.

Babies' gender matters. Contrary to traditional values, girls have become the more favorable option among parents seeking to adopt, as much as 59.5 percent preferred over boys. According to Alicia Wang (王育敏), chief executive officer of the Child Welfare League Foundation, it could be due to the common beliefs that girls are easier to bring up, are more passionate toward their family, and would care for their parents more in the long run.

Age serves as another factor. While over 70 percent (71.1) of parents reject babies over 3 years of age, almost 30 percent (29.7) only want babies that are older than 1-year-old. Past records indicated that the success rate of parents accepting children above 3 years old is only about 30 percent.

Special-needs infants generally suffer waiting periods that are almost double the length of other infants, if they were adopted at all, Wang said. While healthy infants wait an average of 109 days to be adopted, babies with special needs wait an average of 195 days (a range of 127 to 235 days), Wang pointed out.

Parents often back away from sick infants because taking care of them requires more time and effort, the executive said. Wang said babies with darker skin tone are avoided because it could be easily recognized that they were not blood-related to the parents, and that infants whose birth parents did drugs are avoided because potential parents believe that the infants will develop health issues.

"Do not ever abandon children, for not knowing who one's parents were and what one's birth family was like would always remain a scar in a child's life; put them up for adoption instead, if you are incapable of loving and providing them," Wang urged. Currently there are 43 children under CWLF's care, 26 boys and 17 girls, and the foundation would appreciate help to support the children until suitable parents are paired up with them.

Taking care of one child requires a minimum of NT$30,000 per month, and helping about 100 children per year, the expenses CWLF sees is great. Those interested in donating or adopting, please visit the foundation's website at http://www.children.org.tw.

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