Taiwan’s Adoption Background
In Taiwan, it has always been important to pass on the generation. The main reason why people adopt children is infertility. Nowadays, more and more people adopt children because they like children, want to be parents, or want to make families complete. However, in Taiwan society, infertility has seen as a physical flaw which many adopters are ashamed of. Adopters are not willing to let outsiders know about his/her conditions, and worry that after adoptees know they are adopted, they will not love their adoptive parents anymore or leave their adoptive families, even their children will be difficult to discipline. It renders that the adopters regard adoption as a secret, and adoptees are likely to find out their adoption background without being any prepared.
On the other hand, there are still many traditional values that are deeply rooted in Taiwanese people's hearts. For example, unmarried/underage pregnancy is not only personally discriminated against by the society, but also makes the family shameful, so it often become a secret of a mother or family. If unmarried pregnant or divorced women wants to remarry, their previously born children are not easily accepted by the husband’s family and regarded as their own family. In addition, the social support, subsidies, resources and friendliness for unmarried single parents is still not as good as Western countries, which is disadvantageous to unmarried single mothers to raise their children.
Because the adopter and the birth family often have pressures to solve the problem as soon as possible, and are likely to have some unspeakable considerations, there are some special phenomena beyond the normal adoption procedure. The first type is that birth parents are afraid of being found unmarried or underage pregnancy by their families, or in order to avoid being discriminated against because of leaving a record of childbirth, or may not know what ways to ask for help, so birth parents left their baby somewhere and the baby became a foundling.
Type two is that the adoptee is registered as a birth child of the adopter with a forged birth certificate, as known as a parentage fraud. This is usually because the adopters wish adoptees and others will never discover the adoption, and birth families also don’t want to leave a record of giving birth of a child. It may also because birth families believe that there is no difference to them whether it is a legal adoption or a parentage fraud, then they cooperate to do the parentage fraud to meet the needs of the adopters.
The third type is the adoption involving money transactions. This is usually because the pregnancy is inconvenient to be known by others and the birth family knows someone can assist to register their child as other's, then help to let the child be adopted. It may also be that the birth family’s economy is quite difficult and requires external financial assistance, so the child is handed over to the intermediary. In fact, these intermediaries sell the baby to the adopter. Maybe the child is registered as a birth child of the adopter, or perhaps is registered as another person’s child, then adopted by the adopter.
Actually, in Taiwan, the reasons for birth parents to relinquish their child for adoption are mainly underage pregnancy, unmarried pregnancy, involuntary pregnancy, financial difficulties, poor caring conditions, lack of ability or lack of family support, etc. Most of factors are socially, cultural, economically and environmental restrictions, but the society is also easy to hold negative views on these birth mothers, or consider the birth mother no longer have the right to contact the child after relinquishing he/she for adoption, or to disturb the life of the adoptive family. People tends to think that adoptees should be grateful to the adopter and the existing life. Besides, the birth mother herself will most likely regard the child who was relinquish for adoption as a secret in heart and feel guilty, self-blame, inferiority, ashamed to visit the child, and worrying about the child hating her. Therefore, although a birth mothers is always concern about her child’s well-being, whether he/she is loved, she can only keep it in her heart and be reticently, dare not take the initiative to care about their children.