Friday, December 22, 2006

Once and Future Daughter

Lesbians and gay men have traditionally looked to China to meet their baby needs. (Although many lesbians nowadays prefer artificial insemination to adoption, some discriminatory fertility clinics turn them away.) China has a huge supply of orphans as a result of its long-standing practice of limiting families to one child, and, because most families wait for a boy, most of the orphans are girls. One couple I know refers to their hypothetical progeny as Mei Lin.

China, meanwhile, allows just 8 percent of the roughly 12,000 orphans that get adopted each year to go to—ahem—"single-parent" homes. And, even so, all applicants must sign a statement saying they are not gay.

Guess what? Things just got worse. As China relaxes the one-child rule, fewer and fewer babies are available for adoption. China announced stricter eligibility requirements yesterday. And by stricter, I mean draconian. Those who will no longer be eligible to adopt in China include not just unmarried people, but also obese people, disabled people, those over 50, those whose net worth is less than $80,000, and those who take medication for anxiety or depression.

I've always imagined that any babies in my life would come from China. Apparently, they won't. Goodbye, sweet Mei Lin.

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