Recently, according to the increasing inter-country reunion cases, we’ve found out that different countries, languages, and cultures would bring huge impact on reunion. Therefore, whether you decide to join the reunion journey, we would like to share some Taiwanese culture, customs, and festivals to help you get prepared.
The Current Adoption Situations in Taiwan
There are three types of adoption cases in Taiwan. First one is Unrelated Adoption, and it usually takes 45% of all adoption cases every year. Second one is Step-parent Adoption, it usually takes 35%. The last one is Relative Adoption, this usually takes 20%. In all these adoption cases, the inter-country adoption cases will take 10% to 15%, and children are mostly adopted to America, Netherland, Sweden, Australia and Canada. The adoption decisions were made by birth parents because the unexpected pregnancy, the caring difficulty, or the financial difficulty. Besides, the social welfare system in Taiwan isn’t as advanced as those in American or European countries. Not to mention the conservative ideas in Taiwan society won’t support the birth parents to keep their unexpected child. In addition, there had a huge change in Taiwan adoption field since May 30th 2012, according to The Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act, all the adoption cases shall consider the national adoptive parents as priority, and all inter-country adoption cases shall be matched via the legal adoption matching services organization.
Searching is a long and difficult journey. Even if you are not going to step onto the journey yet, you may still want to prepare yourself by gaining insight into some of the Taiwanese cultures.
In Taiwan, families often give away their children for adoption due to financial difficulty, premarital or teenage pregnancy. In some cases, divorce and inability to rear children or pregnancy after rape may also be the causes. In a word, children are rarely given away for adoption because of single factor. The social welfare system in Taiwan is not as advanced as those in US or European countries. For example, an unmarried woman who is pregnant usually will not be able to rear child on her own, without the support from her family. Not to mention that pregnancy out of wedlock is a taboo in Taiwan society. There is still bias regarding this issue among the public. Biological mother's parents usually believe premarital pregnancy will have negative influence on their daughter’s future marriage. They may worry about that biological mother's future spouse and his family will not be able to accept her past.
There is a Taiwanese saying "Those who give birth to you cannot be greater than those who rear you." It is commonly believed that adoptive parents are more important than biological family. Thus, biological family will try not to disturb the life of adoptive family after adoption despite of the fact that they miss their child very much. Biological family may not actively inquire the wellbeing of their child, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t care about it. That is why biological family has mixed feelings concerning adoptee searching for biological family. They are happy about it and yet at the same time feeling guilty toward the child and adoptive family. The last thing biological family wants is to take away children's love from adoptive parents, who rightly deserve all of it.
The distinctive characteristics of Taiwanese family include close family bond, filial obedience, ancestral veneration and patriarchy. Taiwanese family members usually have close relationship and frequent contact. Important holidays such as Tomb Sweeping Day, Mid-Autumn Festival, Dragon Boat Festival and Chinese New Year are the time for family to gather and celebrate. The traditional Taiwanese society was patriarchal, but recently gender equality has become the mainstream due to amendment of related laws. Nevertheless, one may still find patriarchal customs in some families. For example, eldest son or grandson can inherit a greater portion of property or mother must give birth to a male child in order to carry on the family name.
Ways to Show Affection
Taiwanese parents are rather conservative in demonstrating affection. Most of them are not comfortable with expressing love by hugging or speaking out. Their love is shown in daily life interaction and in ways they support their children in planning the future. For example, Taiwanese parents will prepare tuition for children or make down payment on house for their children.
Giving gold jewelry, red envelops and amulet as gift is also a way to express gratitude and give blessing in Taiwan. Many gifts are in gold or red color, because these colors symbolize blessing and prosperity. In Asian countries, gold jewelry is not only a token of blessing, but also a hedge. It is very common for people to give gold jewelry on wedding, birthday and celebration of newborn baby. If you have difficulty choosing a gift, red envelope with cash in it will be the simplest solution. Red color represents your best wishes and cash can be used by everyone. Almost all grand temples in Taiwan provide amulets. There are various types of amulets. Some protect wearers from bad luck in work or school while others grant wearers health and happiness. In short, amulet is a token of blessing.