Between Two Worlds
Information Sources
Teacher Resources

Step One:
Your teacher will divide you into five groups. Your groupís first task is to investigate the facts. Each group must find out:
  • Why so many children from China are offered for adoption
  • What motivates Canadians to adopt children from China
  • What process prospective parents in Canada must go through to adopt a child from China
  • What measures the governments of Canada and China take to ensure that these childrenís rights are protected
Use the organizer The Adoption Process: Protecting the Child to ensure your investigation is thorough.

Step Two:
After investigating the facts, each group will look at them from a different point of view. Group roles:

Group One: The Hopeful Canadian Parent
You are an average Canadian, who, for whatever reason, wishes to adopt a child. You have gone through Canada’s rigorous process to determine whether you will be a good parent to a new child, and passed with flying colours. You will love your new child unconditionally, and you believe that you offer the best option possible for a baby who might otherwise have no real home.

Group Two: The Childís Natural Parent
You are an average Chinese parent. You love your child, but cannot keep her. You feel that your only option is to offer her for adoption, even if it means that she will move to a country halfway around the world, with a completely different culture. Your sincerest hope is that other parents will not have to make the painful decision you feel you have been forced into by circumstances beyond your control.

Group Three: A Canadian Government Official
You are a dedicated public servant, whose job it is to make sure that everything possible is done to ensure that adoptive children in Canada, no matter their country of origin, have the same rights as all other Canadian citizens. It is also your job to work cooperatively with other countries to try to make sure that the rights of children everywhere are respected and protected.

Group Four: A Chinese Government Official
You are a dedicated public servant, whose job it is to think of the good of your country and its people. Despite your best efforts, your government cannot care for all children, and supports the international adoption process. You are dedicated to doing the best for these children, but you are also looking for a long-term solution, so that your country can take care of its own.

Group Five: The Child
You are the child caught in the middle. Being adopted by loving Canadian parents means that you will have opportunities that would not be possible otherwise. Even though you are very grateful to have been adopted, you wonder about what you might have lost in the process.

Even though international adoption has worked out well for you, what about the children still waiting? Is international adoption the best option for these children? If so, what should be done to ensure that adoptive children’s rights are protected? If not, what needs to be done so that they can live happily with their natural parents, in the country of their birth?

Use the organizer The Childís Rights: Perspectives and Possibilities to help you identify and understand your unique perspective. The end purpose is to ensure that collectively the facts are considered from all possible angles, and from the perspective of protecting the rights of the child. Decide on the measures that you think are most important to protect the rights of the adoptive child in the short term and in the long term.

Step Three:
The Secretary-General of the United Nations (a.k.a. your teacher), will convene a special meeting to hear recommendations on this issue. Despite your different perspectives, your goal is to listen to and understand all perspectives, and ultimately to reach consensus and all agree on what should be done. Your united voice presents a stronger case and is more likely to affect change.

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