who we are
What is China's Children International?
Founded in 2011, China's Children International (CCI for short) is one of the first international support, networking, and community organizations created by and for Chinese adoptees.
We aim to empower Chinese adoptees from all over the world by providing an inclusive and supportive community for all of us who share this common beginning.
WHY WE EXIST
In the early 1980s, China tightened its Family Planning Policies by introducing what is known as in the West as “the one-child policy” to curb the nation’s rapid population growth. Often as a result of this policy, frequently combined with the societal importance of males within China's familial structure and compounded by economic pressure many families in rural areas were facing, many families resorted to giving up their children to avoid economic, social, and governmental repercussions.
More than 175,000 Chinese children, mostly girls but also some boys, have been adopted into families all over the world since China officially opened its doors to international adoption in 1992. Immediately after China opened its doors to international adoption, adoptive families began to create an extensive network of support for their community of families with children from China.
But, today, these adoptees are not children anymore - the first few waves of Chinese adoptees are now becoming young adults, entering college and the workforce. Many of us older adoptees, having long outgrown the family networking events, wish to connect with other Chinese adoptees on our own terms and at a deeper level, sharing experiences, thoughts, ideas, and stories with each other to create a greater sense of community and belonging. However, just a couple years ago, there were few to no organizations that gave us these opportunities.
China's Children International (CCI) was established in May 2011 by Chinese adoptees Charlotte Cotter and Laney Allison as an organization that aims to connect and provide support for young adult Chinese adoptees around the world. Today, CCI provides many programs and projects that allow its members to connect with others in the community, give back to Chinese orphanages, empower one another in their communities, and learn about the greater Chinese and International Adoptee community.
SAME BEGINNINGS DIFFERENT PATHS
At CCI, we recognize that while members of CCI are connected through their common beginnings, being an adoptee is not our defining characteristic as we all continue on our different paths in life. Here, we believe that each and every adoptee brings their own unique circumstances, stories, passions, perspectives, and opinions to the table. Whether you are a passionate athlete or artist, writer or musician, being an adoptee is only the beginning. Each adoptee story is unique. CCI hopes to continue connecting Chinese adoptees of all ages for years to come as we always keep in mind our “same beginnings, different paths.”
WHY are many of our programs online?
The short answer is because that was the first medium available for us to connect on a global scale! Also, in many ways, technology is the mode of life for our generation.
But for a longer answer, sometimes, there isn’t a local Chinese Adoptee community to meet up with in person. Often, it can feel isolating and scary when you think no one can relate to what you are going through. While we acknowledge that one of the greatest things about the adoptee community is its diversity and that no two adoptees have the same circumstances, we believe that we do often share similar issues and topics for which exchange and dialogue may be beneficial. For that, we offer adoptees a chance to immerse themselves in the international Chinese adoptee community online; an opportunity to offer and receive support through personal connection and open discussion; a platform to exchange resources, stories, and hope no matter where you are located. CCI also hopes to amplify Chinese adoptee voices and move the dialogue forward on the future of the Chinese adoptee community and on issues relevant to our members, and the best way to do this is by drawing together the full power of all Chinese adoptees, no matter the location. We are creating a community where we have the power to share our future and make our own contributions to the world.
Recently, there has been a movement within the international adoptee community to move beyond country-specific groups towards universal adoptee groups, because there was a feeling of being silo-ed in when, really, we share so much in common with all adoptees. We whole-heartedly support this movement and acknowledge the value in bringing adoptees together, no matter what country they are from. However, at the same time, we also believe there is still a place for country-specific groups. While there is so much we can learn from the greater adult adoptee community, we believe that there are also aspects of being a Chinese adoptee that may be difficult for even other international adoptees to resonate with or give advice on, particularly in connection with the specific economic, social and cultural factors within China that led to large numbers of international adoptions. For instance, because of the illegality of having multiple children, many families may have resorted to abandoning children, many of whom were girls, in public places or at the gates of orphanages in hopes that they would be taken care of, rather than following procedure to give up the child through the government or through an agency. For this reason, whereas many Korean adoptees may request access to documents from their agency with which to search for biological family, most Chinese adoptees know neither the identity of our birth parents nor have a paper trail from the orphanage or the agency through which we were adopted, changing the nature of the search in critical ways. In this sense, CCI gives us a space to discuss and reflect on particular aspects of our experiences that may differ in important ways from the rest of the global adoption demographic.
Respect for all
Openness and respect for different experiences, diverse perspectives, and differing opinions