2006_12_chinesebaby.jpgEarlier this week, China announced that new rules will go into effect for foreigners interested in adopting one of China's biggest exports: Babies. From Families with Children from China, these types of families will not be allowed to adopt babies after May 1:

- Single parents.
- Parents over 50 years of age, unless adopting a special needs child where the current limit of 55 applies.
- Parents with a Body Mass Index over 40, which is medically considered morbid obesity. Click here for a BMI chart.
- Parents currently taking anti-depression medication.
- Parents who have a sever facial deformity. No guidance on how this might be judged.

Additional rules that have been reported are that parents must have been married at least two years. If previously divorced, the parents must have been in their current marriage for at least five years. Both parents must also have a high school diploma. Some press reports mention that parents must have a combined net worth of $80,000 (USD).

Note that being married means that it's a heterosexual - not a gay or lesbian couple. In Wednesday's NY Times article, Timothy Sutfin, executive director of New Beginnings Family and Children’s Services, explained that the new rules made China more restrictive than adopting from Vietnam but not as restrictive as adopting from South Korea. And indeed, China did suggest that some prospective parents look into adopting children from Vietnam. (Does anyone with more knowledge know if South Korea also limited the number of adoptions after a certain point?)

Today, the Times looks at how the new rules affect the Upper West Side, which has the "nation’s highest concentration of adopted Chinese children, according to the group Families With Children From China." Some people are desperately trying to complete applications before the rules change and some who have already adopted Chinese babies were also upset. Jennifer Maslowski, Families With Children from China's Manhattan coordinator, says, "Those of us who are parents but would not qualify under the new rules are at a loss for how we would explain this in five years ‘Nowadays Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t be good enough to adopt you.’ ” Most of the people, though, are just sad that there may be some children who will not find homes and remained orphaned. We wonder if this the Chinese government's attempt to prevent Rosie O'Donnell from adopting a Chinese baby.