Our goal is to empower Chinese adoptees from all over the world by providing an inclusive and supportive community for all of us who share this common beginning.
In the early 1980s, China tightened its One Child Policy as a means of curbing the nation’s rapid population growth. Often as a result of this policy, and frequently combined with the societal preference for males over females and the economic issues China was facing, many families resorted to giving up their children to avoid economic, social, and government repercussions. More than 175,000 Chinese children, mostly girls, have been adopted into families all over the world since China officially opened its doors to international adoption in 1992. Immediately after China opened its doors to international adoption, adoptive families began to create an extensive network of support for their community of families with children from China.
But, today, these adoptees are not children anymore - the first few waves of Chinese adoptees are now becoming young adults, entering college and the workforce. Many of us older adoptees, having long outgrown the family networking events, wish to connect with other Chinese adoptees on our own terms and at a deeper level, sharing experiences, thoughts, ideas, and stories with each other to create a greater sense of community and belonging. However, just a couple years ago, there were few to no organizations that gave us these opportunities.
China's Children International (CCI) was established in May 2011 by Chinese adoptees Charlotte Cotter and Laney Allison as an organization that aims to connect and provide support for young adult Chinese adoptees around the world. Today, CCI provides many programs and projects that allow its members to connect with others in the community, give back to Chinese orphanages, empower one another in their communities, and learn about the greater Chinese and International Adoptee community.
Sometimes, there isn’t a local Chinese Adoptee community to meet up with in person. Often, it can feel isolating and scary when you think no one can relate to what you are going through. While we acknowledge that one of the greatest things about the adoptee community is its diversity and that no two adoptees have the same circumstances, we believe that we do often share similar issues and topics for which exchange and dialogue may be beneficial. For that, we offer adoptees a chance to immerse themselves in the international Chinese adoptee community online; an opportunity to offer and receive support through personal connection and open discussion; a platform to exchange resources, stories, and hope. CCI also hopes to amplify Chinese adoptee voices and move the dialogue forward on the future of the Chinese adoptee community and on issues relevant to our members. It’s our lives; it’s our voice that matters.
At CCI, we recognize that while members of CCI are connected through their common beginnings, being an adoptee is not our defining characteristic as we all continue on our different paths in life. Here we believe that each and every adoptee brings their own unique circumstances, stories, passions, perspectives, and opinions to the table. Whether you are a passionate athlete or artist, writer or musician, being an adoptee is only the beginning. Each adoptee story is unique. CCI hopes to continue connecting Chinese adoptees of all ages for years to come as we always keep in mind our “same beginnings, different paths.” -CCI