Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Changes on face of Taiwan adoption Emerge

There are two changes emerging in Taiwan and both may effect the face of adoption in a negative way for Taiwanese children and those wishing to adopt them.

The first change I have been watching for about a year and a half now and have remained relatively silent about this change. I have done so in order to allow for my own observations on the matter and report to you, the public with hopefully a more clear prospective.

The first BIG change that has been brewing involves our beloved AIT! AIT also known as American Institute Taiwan has a new trick up their sleeve. In the past, when dealing with MOST countries and adoption. The Country will be as responsible as they can with immigration laws and thus "pre-approve" a child as an orphan. They will gather all due data necessary to decide on the status on a child "presumed" by an orphanage or individual as an orphan and then rule either orphan or non orphan status before the child is even offered to the family. For Taiwan, this process is drastically changing. From now on, the children will NOT receive "pre-approved" orphan status. The family will find out if the child fulfills the immigration requirements for an orphan AFTER they travel to the giving country to pick up their child. This new move of AIT's will require that you as the adopting family be WAY MORE VIGILANT in your agency choosing than before. Please research your agency well. Make sure that they are working with orphanages that understand this new proceedure and are confident that the children will pass the orphan status requirements in order to receive an exit visa. Be prepared to stay longer on your trip to Taiwan to pick up your child if necessary and wait longer on courts and paperwork, as there have been families required to wait in country while further paperwork was gathered or received, or while a Birth parent was interviewed.

1: Do not choose an agency that is not WELL versed with foreign affairs, especially with Taiwan's AIT.
2: Understand that there is NO ONE over AIT in the US. Even if you call the Virginia sister office to AIT, they will tell you their hands are tied and they cannot force AIT's hand nor insist upon clearance for any child or case.
3: Research your local state Senators JUST IN CASE you do encounter a problem with your adoption process or clearance of your child's visa. Don't be afraid to call EVERY SENATOR you can in your state and demand they help.
4: Realize that your Senator does not have true Jurisdiciton over AIT. They cannot MAKE AIT clear your child's visa. They can and will however apply heat to the sittuation and become a political "squeaky wheel" on your behalf. So do not hesitate to use them.
5: Keep records of ALL your agency communications and YOUR communications with Senators and go betweens. Write down dates, names and what was said just in case as you may have to repeat them over and over again.
6: This new law has made it almost IMPOSSIBLE for independent adoption in Taiwan as it was. The reason, most of the "helpers" that were in place with the answers to help you, are now working with agencies as it is just safer and smarter to have corporate backing with AIT playing hard ball as they are. Sometimes AIT is requiring that Birth parents be found and interviewed and that can sometimes be very cost and time consuming with a failed outcome!
7: Realize that most of the children are passing. Only one or two families reported having severe issues with this new AIT proceedure.


There has been talk of a new law being passed that all children will now have to be offered to the Taiwan families in country for a year before they can be offered to foreign interested families. This causes several complications. Firstly, obviously the children will be older upon exiting the country. Secondly, it is a known fact that institutionalization of a child for a year or more usually causes some kind of delays and problems whether they be severe or mild (this will be highlighted at a later date by my family's own personal experience, look for the article to come).
Thirdly, with this new law creeping on the horizon, all the waiting families already sitting at a 2-3 year wait for referral will almost undoubtedly be extended at least a year out if not longer.

I have not gathered complete info on this new law as of yet. I am now trying to confirm if special needs and older children adoptions will continue as before or not. Please bear with us as we try to find the facts on this aspect of the new law.

In the end, please be cautious of Taiwan adoptions. They are surely not what they once were in the past. The face of Taiwan adoption is changing rapidly and extremely. If you are a veteran, ask more questions and expect different answers. Proceed with caution and possibly lowered expectations as Taiwan may be experiencing some turbulents in the near future. For new comers to Taiwan adoption, please just ask many questions, allowing yourself factual understanding of the agency guidelines and Taiwan's guidelines as they change and grow.