China Bans Overweight Parents from Adopting

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  • I came across this article and copy/pasted the text. What do you think about weight being an issue taken into consideration for prospective parents?

    "BEIJING -- China has been allowing the adoption of children by older, single and even overweight foreigners. But that may be about to change.

    U.S. adoption agencies said Beijing is tightening adoption rules and requiring that foreign applicants be married, between the ages of 30 and 50, with a body mass index of 40 or under.

    The rules also bar parents who take medication for depression or anxiety, or who have a "severe facial deformity."

    One agency said the rules aim to limit adoptions to "only the most qualified families." The move comes amid a surge in foreigners seeking to adopt Chinese children.

    An employee of the China Center of Adoption Affairs confirmed the release of new guidelines but would not discuss the details. They take effect in May.

    Many Chinese children adopted abroad are girls given up by couples seeking a son under Beijing's one-child rule. Others are left at orphanages or by the roadside by unmarried mothers or poor families.

    A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Beijing said officials are looking into the reported rule change.

    Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed."
  • Interesting - I can see where they could imply that people w/ a bmi over 40 are not going to have the energy to play with the kids and run around with them and be active outside with them as someone with a smaller bmi. At first I was horrified to read the headline, but then I realized that with a bmi of 40 how high that weight must be. Even at my highest, which was 240, i was only a 37, so we must be talking an average height woman of over 275? Basically the same as qualifying for WLS.
  • I wonder what's the deal with "severe facial deformity"? What would they consider severe?

    I think it's just another way to screen people, makes it easier to go through the piles of applications if they can say: too fat, too ugly, too old.
  • Just sounds like another attempt at social engineering to me, making sure that society is only what they want it to be. They don't want certain people being role models for the youngsters.
  • How ridiculous--I have a BMI of over 40, and I can say with 00% certainty that I would be a good parent. I can already keep up just fine with my many (many, many) little cousins and my 6-year old neice.

    I'm going to forward this article to my sister. She and her husband are considering adopting a Chinese baby in a few years (her husband is 100% Chinese, so they actually get to move closer to the top of the list when they officially apply, which I can sort of understand, but similarly to the BMI issue, does his being Chinese mean he will be a better parent? I don't think so--so many crazy rules).
  • I lived in China for a couple of months, and on one level am not surprised. It's a country where, when they want to, they can make a surprising number of rules.

    On the other hand, you can buy every DVD imaginable on the streets for about $1 each because it seems no one enforces any kind of copyright law.

    On a related note, when I lived in China, my BMI was well over 40. I certainly was one of the fattest people there. The obesity epidemic hasn't struck there yet, but if they keep buying cars and eating at McDonald's it's probably not far behind. So maybe being so fat really does seem foreign to them, at least for now.
  • The facial deformity thing caught me off guard, as well. My little bro was born with Cleft lip. If anyone denied him the right to adopt because of that that would be pretty ridiculous.
  • I'm less concerned about the ban as the rationale for it....mainly that comes from the inclusion of "facial deformity" on the list, because it implies that they are worried more about physical appearance of the adoptive parents, not the health.

    I can, however, see an argument for saying that extremely morbidly obese parents might not be alive long enough/have enough energy to provide the healthiest homes for children...but I don't think that statement should be applied across the board on something as flighty and single-factored as BMI, and given that facial deformity is included, i don't see this as being about the health factors, which is unfortunate for everyone involved.
  • Ahh.

    Who wants to adopt all those precious little-girl lives anyway?

    Much better just to leave them by the roadside 'till a boy comes along.

    Talk about setting an example.
  • Yeah, and I think a bmi of over 40 in your 20's and 30's is one thing, but let me tell you, in your 40's (maybe when most people adopt? not sure) is totally different. Your body wears out quickly from carrying that extra weight so long. I pick up my 38 lb'er now and think, omg, I've lost about 3/4 of you and I can't imagine carrying that around with me all day now like I used to. Facial deformities are scary to see here, it's not like they are worried about it being carried thru the genes! Wouldn't an amputee have a more challenging time with parenting? I mean really, if that was the basis for the decision making, that would make more sense.
  • Yea,

    I'm not in the situation, but I gotta think that having an old, obese, ugly parent take care of and love me is better than spending my entire life unloved and unwanted in an orphanage.
  • Hi ladies,

    Not to butt in but this doesn't surprise me. I believe it's Korea has had this rule for years but I think it's stricter for them. You can't be overweight at all to adopt. Just more rules that all these countries want to add. It makes it hard for those of us who are willing and HAPPY to raise these little beauties that need homes.


    Mom to roman and Anastasia
    Kazakhstan 4-01
  • After visiting China, I'm not surprised either. I've known people who have adopted babies from China as well as know someone who I believe is in the process (or they are heavy contemplating it). They view us as unhealthy with our weight problems so they don't want the children adopted by unhealthy parents. Its not only a health issue though but I think it is still partially a political issue. Who knows?

    Oh and I recently discovered a charity that helps development of orphaned children in China. It is called Half the sky ( If you are interested, it seems like a pretty good charity that helps those that live a good portion or their entire childhood in an orphanage.
  • Well, it was a consideration here back in the 70's. My husband and I tried to adopt and were turned down because we were overweight. Thank heavens they have changed that but it was too late for us.
  • We're in the process of adopting a son from Guatemala and have had several adoptive parents switch to the Guatemala program out of the China programs for these reasons. In Guatemala, where people routinely go without enough to eat, there's no stigma at all on being a bit "fluffy". Like the last poster said--two loving, chubby parents who moved heaven and earth to adopt you sure beats sitting in the orphanage until you're 12 and then hitting the streets!

    Go figure!