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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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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Happy Thanksgiving from MBL volunteers

Though Thanksgiving is an American tradition, we feel it’s a good time to remind ourselves how important it is to care for each other and to be grateful for what we have.

Happy Thanksgiving! Here are messages from some MBL volunteers.

Julie: 

I’ve been with MBL for 13 years. It’s precious when we work together and support each other. I will keep all the beautiful memory in my heart forever. I’m so proud to be one of the volunteers for MBL and I’m grateful to everyone I’ve met in my life. I feel happy because knowing YOU is the most beautiful thing! Many thanks to you for supporting MBL charity. Happy Thanksgiving!

Fan:

Happy Thanksgiving! This is my first year to be an official MBLer. It feels wonderful to be in such a warm family where sharing and helping each other are deeply valued. I’m moved by the many stories about adoptive families and adopted children, and every project MBL has done for underprivileged children in China inspires me. Thank you, MBL, and thank you, our hardworking and talented volunteers all over the world! Thank you, all the friends and supporters of MBL. Thinking of you makes me smile.

Patrick:

Some friendships become more beautiful over time. Thank you for the color you add to my life! I wish you a heartfelt Thanksgiving.

Ding Ding: 

I am blessed to be part of MBL. MBL teaches me to bridge gaps and connect hearts. It seems difficult, but is worth an effort and certainly achievable for anyone who holds such a wish. Wish MBLers around the world can bridge more gaps and unite more hearts and souls. Love you all!

Chloe:

Thanks for those people who inspire me and challenge me to grow. We met in our life for a reason, which is that we all learn from each other.

Jieqiong:

A lot of things happened to me this year, some are good some are bad. I am so blessed that every time when I am happy or sad, I have the MBL family to share with. This warm family teaches me love and how to embrace frustrations with hope and peace. Thank you MBL family~! I love you all~!

Thibault:

在川普上任之后,我们都必需努力争取我们的权利、未来和自由,因为这个世界将到处充斥着模糊的仇恨和暴力

Ying:

Thanks to the MBL – the big family, who has brought us together for a good cause, through which I have met many wonderful people and spent my time meaningfully. Here is to a harvest of blessing to the MBL, you are the epitome of loving people and for that we are eternally grateful. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

A big thank you to our volunteer Gloria in China, who recently joined MBL, for the beautiful poster. 

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Latest news and discussions in Canada

CULTURAL EXCHANGES BETWEEN CANADA AND CHINA

1.Can4 Culture

“Canada was featured as the honoured guest country at the annual Meet in Beijing Arts Festival from 25th April until 21st May 2016. The festival showcases a diverse range of international and Chinese arts and cultures programs staged at venues across Beijing. This year it featured a variety of Canadian performers including The Ottawa Bach Choir, Chan Hong Goh, Buzz Brass, and Dashan.”

2.Canada China Culture Exchange Association——-A little outdated – the last event was in 2010

The Canada China Culture Exchange Association (CCCEA) is a non-profit organisation incorporated in Ontario that is promoting the culture exchange between Canada and China. Our mission is to strengthen the culture exchange between Canada and China, to promote the Canadian multiculturalism, and to enrich the cultural life of Canadian Chinese.

ADOPTION RELATED NEWS AND STORIES

1.The Children’s Bridge – International Adoption Consultants

The Children’s Bridge is a non-profit, federally incorporated organization licensed in Ontario to facilitate adoptions. Created in the early 1990’s, The Children’s Bridge helps families across Canada who wish to adopt.

2.ABBA Canada – Financial Solutions for Adoptions

There are more than 20 million children worldwide that are waiting to be adopted. In Canada alone, there are over 30,000 children waiting for forever families. Throughout North America, thousands of private adoptions (those with birth parent involvement) occur on a yearly basis.

3.Adoption Statistics (Taken from Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

4.Families with Children from China (FCC)

5.Legal Adoption Procedure

News Articles

1.Canada and China Will Enter Trade Talks, Justin Trudeau Says

OTTAWA — Canada and China will begin talks that may lead to a free-trade agreement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

The announcement was the latest of Mr. Trudeau’s sometimes contentious efforts to develop stronger ties with China. It came during a news conference with Premier Li Keqiang of China, who is on a four-day visit. This month, Mr. Trudeau’s government said with little fanfare that it was negotiating an extradition treaty with China, a country with a dubious human rights record and sometimes questionable legal processes.

2.China, Canada firms sign 56 deals worth more than $1.2B

Chinese and Canadian firms signed 56 deals worth more than $1.2 billion at a ceremony on Thursday, Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said in Shanghai.

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China Baby Bonds – An American Adoptive Family’s Story

Before leaving for China last June to bring our 2 year-old daughter home, I was both excited and anxious, fearful and faithful. My life those last days before travel was consumed with the anxious thoughts of a frightened and desperate mother who was aching to get to her China baby but deeply dreading leaving her other six children an ocean’s distance behind.

I am not a traveler. I have always been content to stay quite close to home. I live only a few miles and minutes from where I grew up and right next door to my grandmother’s home where my father did. I attend my same childhood church and my children go to the same school that I did at their age. I am more than content this way. Dorothy’s words upon returning from Oz have always resonated with me: “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”

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So when it became apparent that a precious part of my heart’s desire was not in my backyard but on the other side of the globe in a land both mysterious and unknown to me, I was more than a little uncomfortable. And I was torn. Every thing in me longed to get to my daughter across the sea but just as much of me was distressed at the thought of leaving her siblings so very far behind.

During those last days before travelling to China my mind was primarily consumed with concern for my children on both sides of the sea. But a part of me deeply longed to be connected with another adopting family in China with whom we could share this adoption pilgrimage. Somehow, I instinctively knew that me husband and I would find comfort through companions in a foreign land and I longed to recognize a family in China with whom we could share this precious journey to our daughter.

And I did recognize them. Quickly.

We were in China only hours before I was aware of our pilgrimage partners. A family in our agency’s travel group was traveling with two of their older children. Their children were delightful and spending time with them was such a comfort to my husband and me as we were missing our older children so deeply. I remember knowing that their children would make good and fast friends with our flock back home. And this family had adopted a child before which was so encouraging to us a we stepped into the adoption arena and all of its emotions for the first time. They had navigated it only three years ago and were choosing to navigate it again. Nothing could have been as comforting or as encouraging to us in those last days and hours before our daughter was placed into our arms as witnessing a family who believed in what we were doing enough to do it again themselves while bringing their children to witness it!

We received our daughters in China on the same day, at the same time, and in the same room… forging an intimacy that can perhaps be approached only by being present in the delivery room for a birth. We were witnesses to the raw emotions of those first few moments with our daughters. Over the next two weeks we witnessed the anxiety and grief in our baby girls and in each other. We listened to each other and encouraged each other and supported each other. In civil affairs offices and in police stations and in medical appointments, in the office of the U.S. Consulate General and ultimately on an endless airplane flight, we worried and rejoiced together. And, when necessary, we found much needed humor in the emotions and frustrations that surfaced as we learned to read and to comfort our children.

At the end of our two weeks in China, I ached to see my state-side children but I grieved being separated from these friends and their support. I did not know how we would have been brave enough in China without them.

As we returned to our homes and to our other children and began adjusting with our China babies, we continued to encourage and to check on each other. We supported each other and our babies through appointments with physicians and surgeries. We sent photographed images of our children as they bonded with their siblings and we joyfully awaited the day that we could meet again with all of our (11!) children.

A few weeks ago, our precious China friends came through town on their way to visit family. The visit could not have been more of a gift. We had a beautiful early Autumn picnic and, as we watched our children play together, we witnessed how miraculously far our families have come since our precious time in China. I felt like there was hardly time to breathe! I had so much I longed to tell them and ask them and share with them while we had those precious moments face to face again!song-felicitymae2

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By the time they left and I reflected on our time together, I realized that this precious family was way more than our China friends. They were our forever friends who had been sent to us while we were in China…when we so desperately needed them.

–Anne-Elizabeth Williams

In Anne-Elizabeth’s words: My husband, Jimmy and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in February. We live in Tallahassee, Florida where I am a very-part time lawyer and a very full-time mother to our 7 children. Our youngest child, Song-Felicity, was our first adoption and during our journey to her we fell in love with China and the Chinese people we encountered while there. Our wish is that she will always treasure and honor both her American and her Chinese heritage in an awareness that she is, indeed, a beloved daughter of both lands. “The Mothers’ Bridge of Love” is my very favorite book to read to her! My family would love to help with MBL and their Books for Kids project. https://asonginourhearts.com/
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Latest News and Discussions in the United States

A South Korean Man Adopted by Americans Prepares for Deportation 

“Adam Crapser was adopted from South Korea nearly four decades ago, but today he languishes in an immigration detention center in Washington State awaiting deportation because his American parents never filed citizenship paperwork for him.”

U.S. Employers Offer Cutting-Edge Family Benefits to Stay Competitive 

“In the United States, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides new parents with leave to care for a newborn biological son or daughter as well as an adopted child.(5) In addition to FMLA coverage, employers are now more likely to offer not only adoption expense benefits to cover adoption costs, but also adoption leave.”

Please Stop Saying My Adopted Daughter Is ‘Lucky’

“Sometimes, I even have conversations with Swarna’s birth mother in my head. I tell her, “Our daughter is so tough, and so smart. I wish you were here to see her.”

How We Adopted Our Little Boy As A Same-Sex Couple and How You Can Too

“It’s an amazing feeling when he calls us mummy and mammy and asks for kisses.”

Randall On “This Is Us” Forgave His Dad, But as An Adopted Child, It’s Not That Easy 

“Adoption is pretty common these days, but when I was growing up, most of my classmates only understood adoption as happening as a result of a cabbage patch or as sitcom fodder wherein rich white men adopted black boys in need.”

Couple Adopts 4 Siblings At Once: “I couldn’t Imagine Life Without Them”

“We knew there weren’t a lot of people who would be willing to adopt all four kids,” Yohpe said. “We said, ‘Yeah, we want them to be our kids.'”

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