Single Mother Looks Past China to Adopt Child

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Michele Norris talks with Heather Wareing about Wareing's adoption plans. Wareing adopted a daughter from China more than two years ago; she is now looking to adopt another, but as a single mom, she will look to a different country.


With these new adoption standards in China, some prospective parents have decided to look elsewhere.

Heather Wareing is a single mother from Farmingville, New York. She adopted her first child from China over two years ago and planned to adopt another until recently. Heather Wareing joins us now.

And Ms. Wareing, I understand that as a single parent, you obviously wouldn't qualify under these new rules, but you've decided to press on nonetheless. How have your plans changed?

HEATHER WAREING: Well, I decided - well, before I started with China, I had wanted to originally adopt from China and, because of the singles quota, was steered towards Vietnam. I had started my paperwork for Vietnam. And then it shut down, and then I was able to adopt from China.

And so, having done a lot of research on Vietnam and Vietnamese adoptions, I feel comfortable with the fact that now I'm going to start a Vietnamese adoption - so, sad as I am that my daughter wouldn't have a Chinese sibling, I've kind of made peace and I'm excited about a Vietnamese adoption.

NORRIS: When you first learned about this, first, how did you learn about it and what was your reaction?

WAREING: I belong to a number of forums online about Chinese adoptions and there have been rumors, and then I had called my agency and asked about the viability of China for me. So that's how I first found out.

NORRIS: But they were rumors at that point. When did you find out that these rules were actually on the horizon, that change was afoot?

WAREING: You know, I think, earlier in December, when my agency had posted things on their Web site saying there were changes, and I'd already realized that China was probably not a viable option for me, because it's only - it was only eight percent of an agency's clients could be single. I would have to go on a waiting list and with the changes on the horizon, it didn't look like I would be able to do it anyway.

NORRIS: Heather, I imagine that it's not so easy to change course like this. The whole process is very arduous. It's very emotional. And you - it sounds like you've invested a certain amount of time and learning about a particular country, its language and its customs. How difficult was it to opt against China and decide instead to pursue an adoption in Vietnam?

WAREING: Because I had started a Vietnamese adoption earlier, and I had done a lot of research, it wasn't as difficult this time. I was devastated the first time when I realized the list was very long for China. And I think there's a period of mourning that you go through and realize that any preconceived ideas that you have, you need to set them aside.

And what is your goal? Your goal is to parent a child. So ultimately, does it really matter where your child comes from? There are lots of considerations for my daughter. Right now, I would have liked to have a Chinese sibling for her. We go to Chinese school. We are very active in our FCC chapter. Families with Children from China, it's a very helpful - they have different celebrations.

They do Chinese New Year, Autumn Moon Festival. There's a waiting families meeting. But that's not a possibility. It does make me a little bit sad. There was a new child from Vietnam. We'll find our niche and it will be wonderful. But it would be easier to have two from the same country - absolutely. I think so. But I think we'll make it, you know, we'll make it a really exciting experience.

NORRIS: Heather Wareing, thanks so much for speaking with us. All the best to you.

WAREING: Thank you.

NORRIS: Heather Wareing is a single mother from Farmingville, New York. We also heard from Corey Barron, outreach director from the adoption agency Children's Hope International.

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