N.B. This letter was never published by the SCMP
Dear SCMP Letters editor,
We write regarding “Hong Kong orphans subjected to racism in Britain: report” (4th February), which claims the British Chinese Adoption Study has “raised concerns about whether local organisations arranging interracial adoptions place enough emphasis on preliminary guidance”. We acknowledge the heartache of some Hong Kong-born adoptees placed fifty years ago in homogenous, white UK communities with little support toward building their own identities. While we believe the situation of transracial adoptees has improved dramatically since, we agree Hong Kong could do more to support adoptive families, both same-race and transracial, post-adoption, and we are working toward filling that gap.
Adoptive Families of Hong Kong (AFHK) is a registered charity celebrating its 20th year as one of few organizations offering both pre- and post-adoption support to adoptive families, adult adoptees and parents waiting to be matched. It aim to provide access to the most current, relevant information on adoption-related issues. Readers may be interested to know other studies find the most important factor determining whether transracial adoptees experience racism is not the race of their adoptive family but rather the family's commitment to living as a mixed-race family and raising their children in diverse communities.
AFHK hosts a free, monthly Adoptive Parent Support meeting where we discuss these issues and many others, including talking with children about adoption, searching for birth parents, attachment and bonding, and issues adoptees face in the classroom. We also host social gatherings for our diverse community of families, encouraging our children to connect and find support in each others’ common experiences.
Additionally, AFHK advocates on adoption-related issues. To this end, we would like to encourage the SCMP to follow up on its own 22nd July 2012 article by Elaine Yau, which stated that children with special needs “often languish in the adoption pool and grow up in institutional homes”. Why is it that most Hong Kong children with special needs who also need a family must go overseas to find one? Why is it that most Hong Kong children who are not adopted by age three must go overseas as well? This lack of local support for our most precious resource, our children, is a serious problem worthy of leading the news. We look forward to hearing more from the SCMP about it.
Mina Weight, Chair
Ember Deitz Goldstein, Treasurer
Erica Liu Wollin, Psy.D., Adoption Resources and Support Coordinator
ADOPTIVE FAMILIES OF HONG KONG