Search From Your Desk


The official story contained in your child’s adoption paperwork can sometimes hold a meaningful clue, even if some or most of the other information is fabricated.     A simple and easy place to start is to have your child’s Chinese paperwork re-translated a couple of times by differing individuals.  Sometimes there are tiny details included on a second or third translation that did not appear in earlier versions, or were translated with a different level of detail. 

A police report is sometimes available and can hold actual information about the finder, or other potential insights into the details of a child’s transition into government care.  It is good to work multiple trails simultaneously and see which one has some “hits” or turns into a lead with some possibilities.

Study local trends by talking other adoptive parents of children from your child’s orphanage or Facebook or yahoo group and determine if there is any consistent pattern to any aspect of the paperwork story   If any consistent pattern appears among what would usually be random and unique facts, such as: finding locations; person who was reported to have found the child; certain   notes or exact description circumstances of the abandonment – this can be an important clue or may indicate false paperwork.

If you map out each spot on Google Earth or Google maps, one might be able to identify potential trends in finding locales.  If this is the case, it can be that stories are fabricated, or that the village is quite small and the places where an abandoned baby can be placed easily are limited.  Also, if the finding places are “public” spaces, where anyone knows about, such as a bridge near to a main road, or a hospital, or doorsteps of an orphanage, it can be more challenging to locate birth family.  One also has to confront the reality that the finding information can also be fabricated.  

One can research whatever information can be obtained regarding the finder. While there is no real pattern for which clue may lead you somewhere, it is not unusual for the finder to have some bit of truth to a child’s story. Sometimes the finder is actually a friend of a birth family who actually simply delivered the child to the orphanage, or may have some other more distant connection or knowledge of the birth family.  Periodically the finding ad may provide the address of the finder, or give his/her profession, etc.  One can also research this type of lead via the internet, such as locating the finder’s home, place of employment (local family planning office can be an intriguing profession for a finder, which does occur).   These small pieces can be pulled together to create some sense of your child’s possible origins, or at least interview people who knew or saw her in the earliest days. This can lead to actual clues of the truth.  

One can set an RSS feed to send you a notice anytime the hometown area, your child’s SWI, or possibly your child’s finder name in Mandarin characters are mentioned on Weibo or any news sources.    One can use Google Translate tool for a quick read on the content of any Mandarin site


Relationships are absolutely vital to obtaining any information.  Usually getting any information is only as a result of sustained, continued relationship over a lengthy time period where trust has been established and there has been ongoing dialogue on a variety of topics and interests. Chinese  people are often willing to assist an adoptive family, but often don’t really totally understand the level of interest in a child finding birth parents, so they may find it a curious exercise.

How to set up a Weibo account

One can try to make contacts in your child’s hometown area via electronic tools such as QQ or WeChat, which are somewhat like Facebook (blocked in China) so these two tools are the primary messaging services used in China. Of course, over time, one can share the reason for interest in this particular locale.  

It’s possible to reach out to university students or others who are interested in practicing their English skills and begin a general conversational relationship.  Over time, if trust is built and a long-term relationship is fostered, it is possible this local individual would be able to assist in such tasks as visiting a hospital to ask for records, or visit the police station on your behalf, or otherwise follow up possible leads, such as talking with the finder or foster family.

You can make contact via the internet with local people of your child’s hometown area possibly and establish relationship over time.  WeChat or QQ can be used.  For example, if you build up a relationship with a local contact over a lengthy time period, eventually that person may be willing to visit a hospital in the area and ask for records, or help you pursue some local lead.