Taiwan island
Taiwan children
Taiwan children

The Country and the Children

Taiwan

In the early 1990s, Taiwan, China made the transition to democracy, and now has one of the most competitive and freest media in Asia.

The shape of the main island of Taiwan is similar to a sweet potato or tobacco leaf seen in a south-to-north direction, and therefore, Taiwanese (especially Min Nan speakers) often call themselves "children of the Sweet Potato."

The island is characterized by the contrast between the eastern two-thirds, consisting mostly of rugged mountains running in five ranges from the northern to the southern tip of the island, and the flat to gently rolling Chianan Plains in the west that are also home to most of Taiwan's population. Taiwan's highest point is Yu Shan (Jade Mountain) at 12,966 ft. Taiwan is the world's fourth-highest island.

Taiwan lies on the Tropic of Cancer, and its general climate is marine tropical. The northern and central regions are subtropical, whereas the south is tropical and the mountainous regions are temperate. The average rainfall is 2,600 mm per year for the island proper; the rainy season is concurrent with the onset of the summer East Asian Monsoon in May and June. The entire island experiences hot, humid weather from June through September. Typhoons are most common in July, August and September. During the winter, (November to March), the northeast experiences steady rain, while the central and southern parts of the island are mostly sunny.

Since 1945, Taiwan, China has experienced a rapid economic growth; it is one of the four so-called "Asian Dragons". Taiwan, China has a dynamic economy; gross domestic product averaged about eight per cent during the past three decades. About 58.8 per cent of the population works in services, 35.9 per cent works in industry, the exportation of electronics and machinery creates about 70 per cent of gross domestic product. Around 5.2 per cent works in agriculture: rice and fish remain important products, but in recent years the production of specialty fruits and high mountain tea has become more central.

Children

Taiwan has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. You cannot adopt a child in Taiwan unless he or she meets these requirements, and is listed on the database of adoptable children available for inter-country adoptions maintained by the Child Welfare Bureau (Er Tong Ju), Ministry of Interior. In general, families need to be open to children who are older, ages 4 to 15.

Taiwan has a very strong child welfare system that uses international adoption as a last option for a child to join a family. Domestic adoption does happen. When a child is relinquished s/he is added to a database for the purpose of domestic adoption. After a set period of time, s/he is then placed on an international adoption database.

13.13% of Taiwan’s population is children under the age of 14. The size of this age group is shrinking as the country has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world at 1.12 children per woman (2016 est.).

Children's rights and welfare are protected by the governmental Child Welfare Bureau, which works with other relevant departments and agencies. Families with low incomes have access to cash and non-cash benefits. Children who are particularly at risk of losing parental care are those who live in single-parent households, or where the main earner suffers from a severe illness or injury.

Children are cared for in orphanages, small group homes, as well as foster homes. Taiwanese adoptions may also include birth parents’ involvement in the adoption matching. Birth parent consent or approval, when known and able, is part of the process by which the local Taiwanese organizations and county governments ready the case for the court adoption process.

There is no central authority in Taiwanese adoptions as there are in other Hague accredited countries. Each case is looked at individually. There are now six Taiwanese organizations licensed to facilitate international adoptions in Taiwan.

In general, children are prepared for adoption, and families have more realistic expectations of the children because they have received detailed information before placement and in most cases, families will Skype with their child at least 3-4 times prior to the child arriving home.

Boys and girls of all ages, sibling groups and waiting children are available. The children are waiting children and families submit home studies for a particular child in order to be matched. The wait time for an older child is likely to be less.

Eligibility requirements are generally more flexible. Photos and medical information can be reviewed prior to match, and adoption subsidies are often available for waiting children.

Children’s Health at Placement

The children are tested, at minimum, for TB, HIV/AIDS, VDRL (syphilis), parasites, and Hepatitis B. Special Needs children are available for adoption. CCAI wants families to have a realistic expectation of their adopted child and what their first few weeks together may be like. It is important to remember that an orphanage is not a home, so some of the children may have:

  • parasites
  • physical or mental developmental delays
  • malnutrition
  • colds
  • rashes
  • scabies
  • bug bites
  • effects from water and/or air pollution
  • poor dental health

For more information on known health risks in Taiwan, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Information for Travelers to Taiwan at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/taiwan