Obviously, adoption has become a prevalent topic of conversation for us lately. Because of that, I have become acutely aware that many, many people have the misconception that Chinese orphanages are full of healthy girls. I assumed the same thing when we started down this road a year ago. And while that may have been the case 10 years ago, I am learning that the population of orphans in China has shifted significantly over the last decade.
Did you know that today, if you want to adopt a "healthy" child from China, the average time you will wait to get a referral is six years? Six years! And that wait doesn't even begin until all your paperwork is complete and you are logged in. In reality, you will actually wait somewhere in the realm of 10 or 11 years to be matched with a healthy child. Literally, for every month that goes by the wait just gets longer and longer.
There is a lot of speculation out there as to why it takes so long. The other day, I came across this three part blog series that gives some insight. It is very interesting, and will only take you 5 minutes to read all three parts. Okay, maybe 10 minutes if you're a slow reader like me. Here are the links:
Apparently, the healthy girls are just not there anymore. The attitude toward girls in China is slowly changing. And the ones who are abandoned - well, families are adopting them almost as quickly as they are determined to be a legitimate orphan.
So, that would mean most orphanages in China are home to Waiting Children (special needs kids).