Someone has posted on a non-American board that the CCAA has been instructed to work towards balancing the gender of the children adopted out internationally. This person says that the amount of boys shall increase with a minimum of one percent each year. If there are not enough available boys, they will decrease the amount of girls respectively, so that the total amount of children decreases but the relative amount of boys versus girls raises. I am not familiar with this person, but I’m told that she’s been right about things in the past.
This is intriguing. We are told that the number of girls adopted out internationally isn’t even one percent of the girls that are missing.* But, we also know that the perception of them sending girls out of the country might look bad if it ever became any kind of news story in China (which isn’t likely, since the news is controlled, but with the advent of the internet the news isn’t quite as controlled as it used to be).
So, I decided to take a look and see what might be happening. The only true statistics we have that show gender are (to my knowledge) the U.S. Statistics. For those who want to crunch the numbers yourself, the data can can be found at the links below. For each link you’ll need to find the table for orphans and then download the spreadsheet.
I’ve downloaded each one and put the following table together by combining the China information from each year:
I should note that for earlier years the ages were broken down by 5-9 and then 9 plus, so for ease of presentation I had to add those two columns together since the latter years were only done by five plus.
So, from here, let’s look at the percentages:
We can see that the boy percentage raised more than a point in 2006. This puts this rumor into the suspect range, but often a first rumor that comes in is part true and part false, so I’m not ready to write it off just yet.
Add to this the fact that some European countries not allowed (by their own country) to specify gender and/or to turn down by gender, are being referred mostly boys, it’s possible that 9% number is higher for the total referred worldwide. Possibly a lot higher.
Is this because there are more boys available, or is this because of some sort of mandate to start making those percentages look better. I don’t know.
Logic tells me that there are a lot more boys being chosen because the SN program has taken off in such a big way. Also, not all babies are abandoned due to the one child policy, many are abandoned in China for the same reasons that families in other countries choose to make an adoption plan – often a single mom who realizes she isn’t in a position to care for a baby. So there are also more boys available in the NSN program as well. Although it would seem to me that if domestic adoption is indeed taking off in China that the boys would be much easier to adopt out domestically than the girls would be.
So it is possible that this increase is a natural occurrence, but I’m not convinced one way or the other. I can’t overlook the fact that the numbers dropped slightly in 2005 after plugging along at a small gain every year in previous years. And then the very next year they took a huge jump. The same year that total adoptions went down.
One last point. If 2006 had been 8000 total adoptions, then with 587 boys the male percent of total would have been 7.34%. Still an increase. But not as large of an increase. I wish we had the total worldwide numbers.
I’m not completely discounting this rumor, but I’m not convinced of it, either.
* UNICEF tells us there are 17,310,000 births per year in China. The 2000 census in China says there are about 117 boys to every 100 girls. This means there are 9,333,041 boys to every 7,976,959 girls. A difference of 1,356,082. The five or ten thousand girls being adopted out every year aren’t even a drop in the bucket here.