In general, it has been quite difficult to find other Chinese adult adoptees as a minority of modern Chinese adoptions, in simplistic terms, have happened over the past 20 years with the eldest adoptees mainly being teens. However during the 1950’s and 60’s there was extreme poverty and a lot of children (mostly girls) were abandoned. During that time there were a lot of immigrants from mainland China hoping to get a “better life” in Hong Kong. Due to the British influence in Hong Kong at the time, most children were adopted to English speaking countries like, New Zealand, Australia, UK, Canada and the USA.
Clearly at the moment a majority of Chinese “adult” adoptees/orphans were mainly adopted through HK and this is why we thought that HK would be the perfect place to hold our first reunion in 2010.
The next challenge was how to turn the “nice idea” of a reunion into a reality and we are grateful to Lucinda Wu whose initial vision, energy and determination helped to drive forward the project. With the support and advise of some brilliant international and local HK organisations (listed at the bottom of this page) we were able bring together what we hope will be the first of many CAAWR reunions.
Adoptee Committee Members
The CAAWR committee is comprised of international Hong Kong & Chinese adoptee/orphan volunteers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Some of them have chosen to share a bit about themselves here.
Dr. Amanda Baden - Researcher – HK Adoptee – USA
Amanda Baden (www.transracialadoption.net) received her doctorate in counseling psychology from Michigan State University and she is currently an Associate Professor in the Counseling Program at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. Dr. Baden was adopted from Hong Kong and was raised in a transracially adoptive family. Her experiences both personally and professionally have lead her to focus her research and clinical practice on adoption triad members, transracial/international adoption issues, racial and cultural identity, and multicultural counseling competence. Dr. Baden has written extensively on adoption issues including having created a model of identity for transracial and international adoptees called the Cultural-Racial Identity Model. She is one of the editors of the recently published book entitled, The Handbook of Adoption: Implications for Researchers, Practitioners, and Families (Sage Publications). She serves on several advisory boards for organizations including Families with Children from China, Chinese Adoptee Links, and the International Adoptee Congress, and is a columnist for Families with Children from China newsletters (US and Canada) and for Mei Magazine, a publication for Chinese adopted children. In 2005, Dr. Baden was chosen by her Congressman, Jerrold Nadler, and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute as an Angel in Adoption. She lives in New York City and is a licensed psychologist with a clinical practice in Manhattan.
Jessica Emmett – Artist – Vietnamese/HK Adoptee – UK
I‘ve been a freelance artist since leaving university in 2005 after studying Photography (undergrad) & Media Art (Masters with Distinction). My art practice examines adoption (www.jessica-emmett.com). I am the creator and artist of Adopted – The Comic. I was adopted by a British ex-pat couple and grew up in Hong Kong before moving to the UK when I was 16 (1998). I have only been back to HK once in the past 13 years in 2008 for the First HK Adoption Festival. Sadly I was unable to make the 2010 CAAWR 2010 HK Reunion but there in heart.
I now am based in Oxford, UK where I continue to Freelance in photography, illustration & design while working within the adoption communities doing talks and art workshops.
Nancy McCullough – Computer Programmer – HK Adoptee – Canada/USA
Nancy was born in Hong Kong. At 3 ½ years of age, she was adopted by Chinese parents and became Canada’s first foreign adoptee. She lived in Montreal until she was 13 after which her family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She graduated from college with a Bachelor degree in Chemistry and eventually pursued a career in computer programming. Nancy and her husband, Paul, have adopted two daughters (Joylin and Saralin) from China. The McCullough’s now live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where Nancy works as a computer programmer/systems analyst. Nancy wrote a book, “Adoption is for a Lifetime” (www.adoptionisforalifetime.com) where she shares her story how she overcame many struggles and drew strength from her faith. These struggles include abandonment and the loss of their first daughter who was born prematurely and only lived three hours. Nancy explains how her pain was turned to joy and sorrow into victory and how she became better instead of bitter.
Debbie Cook – HK Adoptee – UK
During my working life I have worked in Manufacturing for a Textile and Engineering Companies as a buyer and then as an Officer Manager installing and training staff to use a Sage Accounting package.
I currently enjoy the following pursuits; Lawn Bowls (Flat Green) and I play for the County of Cumbria in the summer months. I am the County Competitions Secretary for Cumbria Womens Bowls Association which keeps me very busy during the summer months of May, June, July and August. In my spare time I am a qualified Bowls coach and umpire this gives me a chance to put something back into the sport. In the winter months I play Indoor Bowls too and I arrange an annual weeks bowling holiday which I have done so in the last 8 years for about 100 players or more. Throughout the year, I belong to a number of Quilting Groups, one of which I was a founder member and I often teach at workshops. I am Treasurer of the local Women’s Institute and I am a member of the Mothers Union.
Fore more about Debbie’s adoption story see the Adoptee Stories page.
Some adoptees have chosen to share their adoption story. Read these stories on the Adoptee Stories page.
Local/International Partners & Support 2010 Reunion
We would like to thank all the people and organisations that have helped us make the 2010 reunion a reality.
Mothers Choice – HK
Mother’s Choice (www.motherschoice.org) is a small non-profit organization which provides and promotes loving, nurturing care for babies and children needing permanent homes, and for single girls and their families facing crisis pregnancies.
Holt International – USA
Holt International (www.holtinternational.org) is a Christian organization finding and supporting permanent, loving families for children who are orphaned, abandoned or separated from families, or at serious risk of separation.
Families with Children from China (FCC of Greater New York) – USA
Families with Children from China (www.fccny.org) is a nondenominational organization of families who have adopted children from China. FCC provides a network of support for families who’ve adopted in China and to provide information to prospective parents.
International Social Services Hong Kong (Intercountry Adoption)
The ISS Hong Kong Branch (www.isshk.org) provides many services such as, helping to arrange adoptions and integrating children into their adoptive families. The ISS Hong Kong Branch has been handling intercountry adoptions for over 50 years.
Social Welfare Department HK
The Adoption Unit of the Social Welfare Department in Hong Kong (www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/) finds suitable and permanent homes for children in need. The Social Welfare Department also assists in searching for adoption records.
Adoptive Families of Hong Kong (AFHK)
Adoptive Families of Hong Kong (www.afhk.org.hk) is a non-profit organization comprised of families from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds, brought together by the common bond of adoption. Formally established in 1993, the organization provides resources, information, support and social activities to families at all stages of the adoption process. AFHK also has a Chinese speaking associate group called “Happy Parents’ Association.”
Chinese Adoptee Links (CAL) – International network of Chinese adoptees
Chinese Adoptee Links (www.chineseadopteelinks.org) spans continents and represents five generations of Chinese adoptees. This group shares their stories and articles from around the world.