In 1998, an Australian girl named Kartya, who had olive skin, black hair and unexplainable fondness for Chinese food, started her searching for biological family from across the ocean. She was told by her parents that she had been adopted from Taiwan. Kartya, a girl in her adolescence, longed to learn the answer of “who am I” and to achieve an identity. Thus, she stepped onto the long and difficult road of searching.
After arriving at Taiwan, Kartya with considerable assistance from polices and media workers at last found her biological mother and unraveled the mystery of her origin. Kartya’s story inspired many domestic biological families and grown-up adoptees at that time. They hoped to find long-lost families in way much similar to that of Kartya. Nevertheless, the lack of official authority and pertinent resources pose challenges to them. Few have successfully found their families.
The search for biological family or adoption information, such as medical records could be extremely difficult for adoptees because there was no official authority to preserve adoption records and the files in court would be disposed after a period of time.
In many developed countries, the adoption information is well preserved and managed under legal acts and regulations. Adoptees and biological families in these countries have easy access to adoption records inquiry and reunion services. In order to protect and promote children’s rights and welfare, the Children and Youth Welfare Act was promulgated in May, 2003. It is stated that “The central government authority shall establish or empower the children and youth welfare institutions to establish a center of adoption databank by keeping the files on the identities and health of adopting parties, adopters, and children and youth to be adopted.”
The Child and Juvenile Adoption Information Center, which is subsidiary to Social and Family Affairs Administration, ministry of health and welfare, was established in September, 2005. The Center is operated by Child Welfare League Foundation under designation of Social and Family Affairs Administration. Our work include adoption advocacy, assistance in amending and concluding “Information Release Form,” information inquiry, searching and reunion services and referral to professional psychiatric, medical and legal consultation.
People over 20 years old can make inquiry about personal adoption data or seek reunion at the Center. Our professional staff will assist adoptees in unraveling the missing part of their personal history. Having better understanding of their adoption usually helps adoptees to accept this fact with peace of mind. It also strengthens the relationship between adoptees and their adoptive families.