Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Demographics Of Foreign Adoption.

One of the ongoing elements in Canadian coverage of the Haiti earthquake is the fate of Haitian orphans who were in the process of being adopted by Canadian families when the quake hit. Watching these reports I began to notice that all of the adopting families appearing in the reports I saw are white. Aren't black Canadians, including Haitian Canadians, adopting Haitian children? Furthermore pondering this got me thinking about the wave of Canadian couples who in recent years have been adopting orphans from China. Again, those that appear in the media when the subject is covered have been white. Don't Asian Canadians adopt children from China? Mixed couples also seem to be missing from such reports.

So, what are the demographics of foreign adoptions? Are these news reports an accurate reflection of the ethnic makeup of Canadians adopting children from Haiti and China, or are we seeing an example of some other factor at work? And if Canadians from minority communities aren't adopting abroad why not?


Randy McDonald said...

Different communities have different traditions. One source I've read (Fukuyama's _Trust_) suggests that Chinese and Korean families are much less likely to favour adoption than Japanese families, while one reason for Romania's high rate of foreign adoption is that Romanians don't adopt (also, that a disproportionate number of the children are of Romani background).

Most of the Haitian children being adopted by Canadians are probably being adopted by Qu├ębec Francophones, even those of 17th century vintage, on account of the bilateral francophonie thing.

tim gueguen said...

The thought of cultural attitudes towards adoptions did come to mind. As for the adoption specifically of Haitiams the Saskatchewan media has an example of Saskatchewan residents who had been in the process of adopting from Haiti when the quake occured. Melanie and Melvin Brundage, who arrived home with their child today, had already adopted a child from Haiti a couple of years ago. This government notice includes some details on where some of the Haitian children currently in the adoption process are going.