The first country a lot of people think of when they hear the phrase "International Adoption" is China. So, it's not surprising that we have gotten the question "Have you considered China?" multiple times now. As Doug mentioned in his post "Surprise #7: The Only Certainty is Uncertainty," we've been surprised by how ever-changing the requirements and status of all the programs are. So why didn't we end up choosing China? First, we chose Korea... "chose" being the key word. It wasn't a process of elimination, and that was the country "left standing." Although, I will be honest... we had pros and cons lists for all the countries we were considering, including China, and Korea by far had the best lists - for us. So, in answer to the "Why not China?" question, here are two of the top reasons: • The wait time. It's up to two and a half years estimated waiting time. Two and a half years people! That's from the time your papers are received in China from the time you get a referral. Many bloggers joke that their paper pregnancy is longer than the gestational period of an elephant (which is 22 months). Think about that.
• The new requirements. China has put in place a whole laundry list of requirements now, some of which make sense and some of which just seem like a power play or a perceived solution to an uncomfortable one-child policy.
I found an op-ed article from the NY Times, written last year by Beth Nonte Russell entitled "The Mystery of the China Baby Shortage." This reflects a lot of what I feel/think - in a much more succinct fashion. You can find that article here.
I think China is a fabulous country with a good program, and one that is working (very, very slowly and only if you fulfill all the requirements) but it is working. I just hope that there really aren't enough babies to meet the demand, and that China isn't hiding it's discomfort at the price of children not being placed in loving homes in other countries.