Many lesbians have historically adopted Chinese babies. Lesbians, as Elizabeth Weil reported this summer, are sometimes turned away from fertility clinics. And sometimes, they make an ethical/political choice to adopt one of China’s unwanted baby girls. Chinese orphans are predominantly girls because the country has long limited families to one child, and most families wait for a boy.
Many gay men also adopt babies from China, even though the country doesn’t make it easy for same-sex couples. Just 8 percent of the nation’s orphans are available to so-called single-parent homes and all applicants must sign a statement saying they are not gay or lesbian.
Now China is making its adoption laws even stricter. The country will no longer permit any single parents to adopt. The new rules announced yesterday will also bar those who are obese or over 50, those whose net worth is under $80,000, those who have been in a second marriage for less than five years, or those who—like millions of Americans—take medication for depression or anxiety. Although 12,000 Chinese orphans are expected to be adopted this year—two-thirds of them by Americans—the number of orphans will likely decrease as China continues to relax its one-child rule.
This writer has long thought that any babies in his future would come from China. It seems they won’t after all.