Adoption in France and Elsewhere

Conditions for Adoption in France 

“In principle, the adopter or adopters must be at least 15 years older than the child they wish to adopt, however, the judge may allow exceptions if the age gap is smaller.
It should be noted that in the special case of the adoption of a spouse’s child, the adopter does not have to meet the age condition. In addition, the minimum age gap between the adopter and the adoptee is reduced to 10 years.”

Overview of French Adoption Law

Adopting from France

France is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between France and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.”

Researcher Examines the Politics of Adoption in France

“On May 18, 2013, France legalized same-sex marriage, and simultaneously, adoption by homosexual couples. During the lead-up to President François Hollande signing the act into law, opposition protests erupted across France. Nearly a year later, demonstrations against the law continue to occur, with protestors claiming the French government is “family-phobic,” or opposed to the traditional family structure of man, woman, and children.”

Adopted by French Families, Haitian Children Arrive in Their New Home

Home Alone – International Adoption

“As one country after another became more stringent, adopters and agencies moved on to others with still-lax rules. In the 1980s 56% of all international adoptions had been from just three countries—Colombia, India and South Korea. By 1998 the top three were China, Russia and Vietnam. Some governments blacklisted countries that were slow to follow the new rules. By 2002 Canada, France, Italy and Spain had all stopped accepting adoptions from Guatemala, though America continued until it ratified the convention in 2008. American adoption agencies then turned to Africa, in particular Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo—which are now tightening up in turn.

Catching up with Jiajia: CNN reunites with adopted orphan from China

“When Brian and Jeri Wilson brought home their 10-year-old adopted son Jason, formerly known as JiaJia, for the first time last year, the couple quickly realized they needed to move…”

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CACH Reunion with MBL

And Happy International Women’s Day!

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Chinese New Year 2017, Celebrating China’s Diversity with MBL

On 11th February 2017 MBL successfully held its annual Chinese Spring Festival celebration at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London. The event attracted more than seven thousand visitors from a range of European countries to experience all that Chinese culture has to offer and join in the new year festivities. All who participated, no matter their background, fully enjoyed what the event had to offer from Chinese painting and storytelling to paper-folding and crafting.

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All the volunteers

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Our volunteers worked tirelessly to deliver fun and imaginative workshops celebrating Chinese culture to our guests. At the painting stand Rui Yun 小夕 delivered a masterclass in the styles and patterns attributed to Chinese art. Her teaching, along with the invaluable assistance of others such as Julie and Eric Cai, was so good that all of the children present left with beautifully drawn and coloured Beijing Opera masks! Particularly popular were the dazzling costumes on display at the storytelling workshop which represented all the different peoples who make up China. All who watched were given the chance to wear these costumes and transform themselves into elegant and beautiful princesses or strong and brave Kung Fu warriors straight out of an ancient Chinese storybook. This special occasion would no doubt have given many parents some fantastic photographs to show friends and family. Finally, Jing Yi 静怡 led a wonderful class in paper-folding and crafting. Sat along two long tables, groups of children and adults alike followed her instructions and before too long were producing Chinese lanterns representing the new year celebration and many more fantastic creations. The class proved such a success that by the end most were reluctant to leave!

In addition to the visual highlights visitors were also treated to some great musical performances. Pan Tong, Ting Ting and friends, all of whom represent the teenagers of MBL, played beautiful compositions on the guzheng and keyboard drawing our audience to the sounds of traditional China. Master Huang Xu followed this by introducing our guests to the Chinese tea ceremony and its value in Chinese society. Last, but by no means least, Yoyo and Ping performed their Kung Fu and Fan Dance respectively bringing a close to a highly memorable day of festivities and celebration.

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Guzheng performer:Tong Pan

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Tea ceremony:Xun Huang

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Kongfu performer:Yuyu

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Taichi performer:Ping Ling

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Orzu Arts Theatre Group was invited to be part of the main show and they lived up to every expectation. A very interesting combination of singing and dancing in colourful costumes and upbeat music was staged: the singing and dancing are from Chinese ethnic areas as well as China’s bordering countries through the Silk Road: Tibet, Turkmenistan, Uzbek, Kazakh.

A variety of traditional and popular acts such as Guzheng, Kung Fu, Tai Chi were also performed by our own talented volunteers, Linping, Youyou, Tingting and Tongtong. A tea ceremony was also provided by a volunteer’s company Capacitea, they also kindly donated all their proceeds to MBL at the end of the event. Story telling took place in a separate area, our volunteer Dingding applied her education study to great use. The main show was capably managed by our colleague at MOC Anne and Linping, our own volunteer team leader.

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The MBL V&A Museum of Childhood was a resounding success. The number of visitors is more than 2600 on the 11th Feburary.As one of our supporters put it, ‘I had a lovely time at the V&A. It was the first time we worked together and there will certainly be a lot room for us to improve. We hope to be able to cooperate more with MBL for future events.’ It was a reflection of the ever-increasing dedication and enthusiasm volunteers’ display on a continual basis. Without our kind volunteers and sponsors offering their time and effort, this event would never have been able to succeed. Thus, MBL sends our great thanks to all our sponsors, volunteers and trustees for devoting your time and energy. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Heartfelt thanks to all volunteers:Yintong,Ping Ling,Julie,Zhigang Pan,Zhihao Chen,Heling,Cai,Yu Yang,Ziyang Zhang,Jingyi Chen,Pingting Lin, Weiwen Wang,Wenjun Ding,Ruiyun He,Yutong Jin,Wenwen Xie,Xun Huang.

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Adoption in Sweden, Denmark, Finland & Netherlands

Netherlands 

News: 

Dutch government will not ban foreign adoption.

Organizations (or useful links):

Sweden 

News: 

An Indian woman met her biological mother after being adopted to Sweden for 42 years.

Organizations (or useful links):

Denmark 

News:

Denmark stops all adoptions from Ethiopia

Organizations (or useful links):

Finland 

News:

Eastern European countries declared wars on child protection agencies in Norway, Finland and the UK for “forced adoption”.

Organizations (or useful links):

World news and misc.  

  • Inter-country adoption of children falls sharply.
  • Recent Activities of MBL
    • The Mother’s Bridge of Love (MBL) is collaborating with V&A Museum of Childhood (Bethnal Green, Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9PA) to celebrate Chinese New Year on 11th February (Saturday) 2017. The theme this year is “diverse Chinese culture”.
    • Call for children’s paintings for MBL global charitable events (Stayed tuned for detail)
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Chinese New Year 2017,Celebrating China’s Diversity with MBL

The Chinese New Year is upon us once again. The international charity organisation The Mother’s Bridge of Love (MBL) is staging its annual celebration in collaboration with the renowned V&A Museum of Childhood (Bethnal Green, Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9PA) on Saturday 11th February 2017.

Surprisingly to many in the West, there are 56 ethnic groups within China. This year’s theme is centred on this dynamism within the rich, vibrant and exciting tapestry of Chinese society and its culture. You will see a variety of fascinating performances throughout the day and our group of MBL specialists will introduce the varied ethnic groups. The colourful costumes, folk dance and music, and their links with other bordering countries will be demonstrated. At the same time, the usual classic and popular activities such as learning to speak and write in Chinese, costumes photo opportunities, paper cutting and mask making will be available throughout the day. We look forward to welcoming all families to participate and celebrating the China’s diversity with us.

The charity The Mother’s Bridge of Love was set up in 2004 by the internationally acclaimed Chinese author Xinran. Its aim is to promote Chinese culture for Children and reach out to Chinese children from all corners of the world. MBL is enjoying its collaboration with V&A Museum of Childhood for the fourth year. Having enjoyed the Chinese New Year activities, the families can also have the opportunity to sample the extensive collections of toys, childhood equipment and costumes that have been in the Museum’s collection since 1872.

So, come and join us, a fun and educational day out is waiting for you on Saturday, 11th February 2017!

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Love on the Road – Visiting ‘left-behind’ children in a mountainous region of Sichuan province.

At 5am on 18 December 2016, we (a group MBL volunteers) set off on our journey. First we flew from Nanjing to Chengdu, from where we drove for more than 8 hours on mountainous roads before arriving at our destination – a group of schools up in the mountains of Sichuan province:

Hongchun Primary School

Junlian County Shilong Primary School

Junlian County Mutan Primary School, Gong County

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A common sky, the same age, a shared culture… But living conditions which couldn’t be more different

Hongchun Primary School, Junlian County
6 teachers, 6 classes with a total of 131 students. Students are mainly ‘left-behind children’ from villages in the surrounding area.

Mutan Primary School, Gong County
Founded in 1995, Mutan School is located southwest of Gongteng village. There are a total of two school buildings – one new and one old – 5 teachers and 5 classes with a total of 78 students, who mostly come from the local village. More than half of the children’s parents work in different parts of China.

Here, a teacher will be responsible for teaching all classes to a whole year-group

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Love & Care 

Some children here in the mountains walk for over 2 hours in flimsy shoes to get to school, come rain, shine or snow.

There is no heating in the classrooms, and many of the students suffer from frostbite.

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Hope – In pursuit of knowledge and happiness

No matter how hard, no matter the obstacle, their will to learn is undimmed.

In their eyes you see their focus, in their smile you see their passion.

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Message of Love – Library Donations

MBL volunteers have been setting up school libraries and making donations in impoverished parts of China for over 12 years. On this visit to Sichuan province, they set up the 19th, 20th, and 21st libraries.

Volunteer Frank often says that what we are giving these children are not libraries, but wings that give these children a chance to see beyond the mountains they live in. They may be small, but these libraries are filled with joy.

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Feel – Joining the class 

Hello everyone, my name is Lily. I am 10 years old and I am the youngest MBL volunteer. Today I joined the local kids in DT, Sports and English class.

These classes were all prepared by the big sisters from the MBL volunteer centre.

I was really surprised that it was the first time these children had these kinds of classes, because they don’t have the right equipment.

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Treasure – Treasure the time we have

Hi everyone, I’m Zhang Hong. At 63 years old, I’m the oldest MBL volunteer.

I want to take everything I have seen and heard here back to the city, to tell my child and many other children from the city about what life is like up here in the mountains, about children who grow up in poverty without parents , but are still willing to work hard for a better future.

Children from the city should treasure all they have.

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Donations

Gonghe School

Hongchun School

Shilong School

Books

880

860

1150

Bookcases

4

3

/

Heaters

6

5

6

Computers

2

2

2

Files

One set

One set

One set

Other

Clothing

Clothing

Clothing

 

Organizers

The Mothers’ Bridge of Love

Nanjing Volunteer Centre

Sino-UK Bridge Cultural Education

Our heartfelt thanks to: 

MBL volunteers: Frank Pan, Julie Zhu, Pan Tong,  Zhang Hong,  Zhao Haisong,  Zhao Yutong, Zhou Jing, Dong Pei, Wei Yonghong, Xu Mingyi, Liu Wei, Wu Fengjie and Liu Huayi.

Will Spence for translating the text from Chinese to English. 

Robert Coates Family for their donation of NZ $5,000 to support MBL B4K project & Shilong primary shool library

Li Yuan and her family for sponsoring the courier services

Mrs Yang’s support of RMB1000 to MBL volunteer center to buy books.

 

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Adoption news and organizations in Brazil and other countries in South America

News:

Brazil Eases Child adoption for Foreigners
“The National Council of Justice (CNJ) moved to approve a change in the country’s National Adoption Registry (CNA) that facilitates the adoption of Brazilian children by foreign would-be parents.”

Adoption Rules in Brazil

“According to a report by CNA, which is the National Adoption Register in Brazil, there were over 5.400 children and adolescents ready for adoption in Brazil in 2013. Of these, 3.000 were male and 2.400 were female. Also, slightly more than 32% of all children and adolescents ready for adoption in Brazil were caucasians.”

I’m a Child of Argentina’s “Disappeared”

“Hundreds of babies of parents killed by Argentina’s military dictatorship were given new families and identities, their true origins kept a secret. Jorgelina was one of them.”

Organizations:

Orphan Care Alliance – South America 

Across The World Adoptions – Brazil

Children’s Home Society of Minnesota – Brazil

Hand in Hand International Adoptions – Brazil

RainbowKids Adoption & Child Welfare Advocacy – Brazil 

Nightlight Christian Adoptions – Nicaragua 

La Vida International – Colombia

A Love Beyond Borders – Caribbean and South America

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Happy New Year of 2017 from MBL!

MBL New Year Greeting 2017MBL wishes you and your loved ones a Happy New Year! We’re deeply grateful for your support and encouragement, and look forward to another wonderful year ahead.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit here.

(A big thank you to our volunteer Gloria for designing the greeting card.)

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The 2016 Annual MBL Team Leaders’ Gathering

2016 MBL London Team Leader GatheringA group of MBL team leaders gathered at Xinran’s house in London on 10 December for an early Christmas party. It was a very happy occasion spent catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. To all those who could not make it – we miss you!  

It’s been a wonderful year for MBL, as we continue striving to build bridges of understanding between China and the West and between adoptive culture and birth culture, while also helping children in rural China gain access to more books and education.

Thank you, our amazing volunteers, for your tireless contribution to The Mothers’ Bridge of Love. Thank you, MBL friends, for your unwavering support. Without you, we wouldn’t be here!

We wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

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The latest news in Norway

Country Profile: Norway 

Adopting from Norway

Adopsjonsforum: A Norwegian child welfare association, whose main activity is finding adoptive families in Norway for orphaned and abandoned children from other countries.

Five children seized by Norwegian gov’t to be adopted out, as protests grow

“Norway’s Barnevernet, or child welfare service, has begun the process of adopting out the five Bodnariu children it seized from their Pentecostal parents Marius and Ruth in November, according to the children’s uncle, Daniel Bodnariu.”

Towards the Thaw: Seeking Clarity in China-Norway Relations

“It has now been over five years since political relations between China and Norway were downgraded after the awarding of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The extent of this political deadlock is by now unprecedented in the recent diplomatic history of the two countries. This situation has allowed for some salient insights to be drawn on Chinese foreign policy, based on the aspects where the Sino-Norwegian case is similar to or different from other instances of diplomatic pressure from Beijing. Analyzing current Sino-Norwegian relations does, however, require a degree of precision, which has at times been lacking in media reports, in particular on two accounts.”

Norway to allow foreign women to abort healthy twin

Norway’s health authorities have ruled that foreign women pregnant with twins should be allowed to abort one fetus in Norwegian hospitals, even if it is perfectly healthy.”

Norway and China: A foreign relationship with a touch of magical reasile

“As a powerful nation justifiably proud of its venerable history and culture and with a role to play on the world stage, China has the capability to be much better than that.  It needs to escape a magical realist world of its own making and engage constructively with other nations that can help it.”

How do Chinese Students tackle their new life in Norway? 

“Many Chinese students come to Norway with big ambitions. But everyday life can be hard and lonely. Some find solace in religion.”

Thank you to MBL volunteer Patrick Chen for his contribution to this post. 

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