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Taiwan Adoptive Families

Problems Adopting from Taiwan

We just came back from our court hearing in Taiwan. The judge did not approve us and is asking us to submit “physical evidence” proving to her that we can be parents to a 7 and 10 year old sibling pair. Right after we introduced ourselves, the judge said she was worried about our case because 1) we do not have children, 2) we are accomplished and successful, and 3) she does not think we could understand the special needs of older children with limited abilities, although we are qualified on paper.

So she asked us to take up to 2 more months finding “physical evidence” to prove to her we can parent these children. This would be a fine thing to ask for - IF the government would have asked for this BEFORE we started Skyping with the children and BEFORE we spent three full days bonding in person with them. The children already call us mama and baba. They told us they love us. They said they are impatient to move and live with us.

I think it is emotionally abusive to the children to let adoptive parents bond with them and then after 14 months, tell us they no longer think we are qualified. My husband and I are adults and we can process this with time. However, our children have been let down by all the adults in their lives - their birth family abandoned them, their grandfather died, the foster parents whom they loved did not want to adopt them, and now their government may take us away from them - the people they believe are their parents and whom they have come to trust and love.

We are going to try and submit additional evidence, although there is nothing new we can submit so we feel like we are starting all over now and repeating everything that is already in our application and the numerous essays we have already submitted in response to the government and orphanage’s questions last year. It is extremely disappointing that the judge said “I need physical evidence. I can not take your word for it.” We were in a court of law. We would not lie to a judge.

We want what is in the best interests of the children. The government does not realize that they are putting these children’s mental health at risk by allowing them to bond with us and telling them since last year that we are their new parents - and now it is all in limbo and in jeopardy. This is so unfair for the children and emotionally abusive to children.

In the past, the agency and orphanage said Taiwan would approve adoptions at the court hearing and that it was simply procedural. Now this judge is being very tough on adoptive parents. We just learned she has declined families and forced them to appeal. She was yelling at everyone in the courtroom in Chinese and blaming our agency, the orphanage and the government social worker for making a bad match.

I am writing this to warn other families that adopting in Taiwan is risky and you could be declined or asked to submit further evidence after being matched, interacting with your children and believing the government has approved you. This is not about us as adults but about the need to protect innocent children who have already been repeatedly abandoned and traumatized from an adoption process that is further traumatizing to them. If we fail to convince the judge, how can our children trust another family? Or will they even find another family since it takes years to get through the adoption process.

If we are declined, they will be tweens and teenagers by the time they have a new family and their transition will be hard to impossible. If we are not approved, I suspect they may spend the rest of their childhood in the orphanage and grow up to repeat the mistakes of their bio parents, because they will never have had the love of committed parents. They think we are their Forever Family but it is all in limbo now and may or may not happen.

I hope we can write back with a successful end to our story for the sake of our children. In the meantime, if you are adopting from Taiwan, please discuss this issue with your agency so you will be better prepared to appear in court. I hope this does not happen to other children and families. We are devastated, depressed, sad, anxious, worried and feeling hopeless but we need to try again for the children.


I am so, so, so sorry!!! I have heard about one judge in Taiwan who is particularly tough on adoptive families. Sorry that you are going through this!

Would proof of further parenting / adoption education help? Like doing Heather Forbes’ 8 hour parenting class (HUGE help for us once we started running into challenges with our daughter).

I wish I knew what to suggest so that your adoption will be approved… we adopted a Taiwanese 13 year old girl as first time parents. It was really hard for the first 1.5 years and then things started to improve. So it can be done successfully. She’s been home 3 years now and our therapists and family friends all say they are amazed at how far my daughter has come since she first came home. It’s been a rough road but fighting for these kids is worth it!

Posted by Adventist Homemaker on Jun 15, 2018 at 6:38pm

There is a single judge now who is reviewing all cases. I think she started late last year. The orphanage told us she is very hard on families. It is now very difficult to adopt in Taiwan. I believe the Taiwanese children and most people in Taiwan are wonderful but I want to help adoptive parents to be more prepared for the reality of the court hearing. It is no longer procedural. After all your work, heartache and money spent, you can be rejected. It is very risky now.

Posted by RedSunRising on Jun 15, 2018 at 7:46pm

Congratulations Adventist Homemaker on your success with your daughter. Adopting an older child is hard. I am so glad to hear you are making progress. It gives us hope, assuming we are eventually approved.

Posted by RedSunRising on Jun 15, 2018 at 7:51pm

I am not sure what she wants but the classes sound like a good idea. You could offer some physical evidence via a certificate of completion.

Maybe you could line up some support people (support group, therapist, MD English tutor, social worker)and have them write letters stating they are in approval and willing to provide services. Maybe your local developmental disabilities board has some brochures outlining their services. Also the school could write what services they have for children with special needs.

I don’t know if you have time but maybe a local agency would let you do respite for children with issues so you can say you have experience (not sure if you need a foster home license I think for foster kids you do but for adopted kids no)

. Maybe you could volunteer at Special Olympics or respite weekends through the developmental agency in your area. Some pictures of you with kids might help.  or a journal outlining your experience.

Another idea would be to read some books about older child adoption (Adopting the Hurt Child, Parenting the Hurt Child, Adoption and attachment books by Dan Hughes) and listing them with some comments (I think they used to call that annotated bibliography) Submitting the same things won’t get you anywhere.

You can also learn a lot from movies try Antwon Fisher Story, First Person Plural, Martian Child,Blind Side, Somewhere between, Stuck, there is one about China The invisible Red Thread, Somewhere between, Adopted (on U tube) some are Netflix again you could write up what you learned and how you would solve the problem with the support people above

It is true that families with a woman with a masters degree or above in helping professions have a higher disruption rate. I don’t know if that is true of you, Sibling groups actually disrupt less if people are not twinning (like you have a 10 and 12 year old and adopt an 8 and ten year old)

It is time to do what she wants she has all the power. I wonder where she is coming from? Some bad adoption cases?

Good luck tell us what happens

Posted by Regina on Jun 15, 2018 at 9:07pm

That is awful, I am so sorry. Could you volunteer for the big brother/big sister program, or do you have a boys and girls club nearby you could volunteer for? To get some experience working with kids from a different background. Or provide a respite foster home?

Posted by rn4kidz on Jun 16, 2018 at 8:01pm

You have some great suggestions here on things you can do to prove you have experience and knowledge. Regina has a GREAT list of books. I’ve read most of those and they are extremely helpful.

I also really like the idea of providing respite. I don’t think you have to be certified for that, if you provide respite for other adopted kids who are now home. I know we could have used respite a few times. wink  Big Brother program is also a fantastic idea.

Keep us posted!

Posted by Adventist Homemaker on Jun 17, 2018 at 6:09pm


You have some great advice here. To be fair, it can be extremely hard to adopt older children. Many times it is not apparent initially. So trust in the process, do all you can to show her you are taking her requests seriously, and you will probably be glad for all of it later on. I wouldn’t waste any energy raging at Taiwan or the state of adoptions there. Better too much care, and scrutiny than trafficking children.

To the other suggestions above, I’d add in person courses, talk to your agency and get referencers of other families who have adopted from Taiwan and see if you can spend time with them…then get references, and pictures, also take new pictures with friends or family with children that you are close to, join support groups for adoptive parents, maybe even agree to be a host family for children traveling here from other countries and get references and photos, or volunteer as some have suggested with organizations for children.

Oh and one more thing…continue building your relationship with the children you are hoping to adopt. It is helpful to learn to be there for them, and hold steady, and learn to keep a calm balance, no matter what pandemonium is thrown your way.

Good luck!

Posted by Happy Camper on Jun 19, 2018 at 11:17am


Posted by RedSunRising on Jun 28, 2018 at 5:50am


Posted by RedSunRising on Jun 28, 2018 at 5:54am


Posted by RedSunRising on Jun 28, 2018 at 6:05am


Posted by RedSunRising on Jun 28, 2018 at 6:13am


Posted by RedSunRising on Jun 28, 2018 at 3:51pm

it is normal to have grief. There are positive ways to work through the grief like therapy, journaling, talking to people, crying, meditation to name a few. There are negative ways to work through grief like spending money, eating or drinking too much, self harm, losing your temper.

I would say you would need more than a few weeks maybe months to recover. Having an outburst does not make you an unfit parent.

I don’t know anything about your situation or adoption in Taiwan. I am sorry this happened but there are other children waiting.
Take care

Posted by Regina on Jun 28, 2018 at 11:47pm


Posted by RedSunRising on Jun 29, 2018 at 12:04am

This is so very heartbreaking seeing these kids having another long way to go finding a forever family. Will pray for your family’s healing and the kids’ future.

Just wonder which Taiwan agency (or region) is your kids at? I assume when you say that judge now reviews “all the case”, it refers to all the case from that city/region.

My main concern is not about the Taiwan agency (as you said, they are really nice and helpful in many ways). Rather, I’m just trying to figure out if all the potential Taiwan adoptive families have to be extra prepared for this kind of situation, or only those adopting from this specific region where this judge is in-charge?

Posted by someonewhocares on Jul 03, 2018 at 4:58pm


Posted by RedSunRising on Jul 04, 2018 at 12:47am

“I know a family who lose their son after 6 months of bonding because the father would not relinquish him.”

If the child’s own father refused to relinquish him, how could that family possible believe he was “their son?”

I’m sorry for people who get disappointed but children—whether foster children like I was or in an orphanage or in somebody’ else’s womb—don’t belong to adopters until the papers are signed.

Posted by NoraT on Jul 04, 2018 at 1:29am

Good point. I think the international adoption programs should be shut down. There is too much abuse by the agencies and the governments. The governments and agencies are taking people’s money and telling people and children that now you are a Forever Family when it is a lie.

In Taiwan, the parents do relinquish the children before matching but they can change their mind until the court hearing. I have heard many parents do not want their children but they will not relinquish parental rights when it comes down to the wire in court.. They can’t say the words so they put them back in the orphanage. Taiwanese orphanages appear to be full time day care for some people.

Posted by RedSunRising on Jul 04, 2018 at 2:51am

In many poorer countries the parents simply cannot afford to take proper care of their children, and have no other choice but to put them in an orphanage. but they still love their children, they actually want them very much,  and don’t want them to go away forever, never to be seen again. they may hope that circumstances will change and their kids can come home again, or they may believe that family ties are so important that they can’t fully sever those ties. it has to be a heartbreaking decision for the parent who chooses to send their child to an orphanage, but I don’t think they view it as “full time daycare.” birth parents are under no obligation whatsoever to relinquish their rights so families from wealthier countries can have their children.  I am sorry your experience ended so badly, but it really is outside the norm, I don’t really think its fair for you to say all international adoptions should be shut down because you had a bad experience. thousands of children get out of orphanges each year to live with loving families and thousands of parents find the child they have been desperately searching for. i know multiple people who have adopted medically fragile kids who might not have even survived in their home country due to lack of care. The system is very flawed, it is ridiculously expensive, and it doesn’t always lead to a happy ending. But a lot of good has come from it.

Posted by rn4kidz on Jul 04, 2018 at 4:06am

For all intensive purposes, the international adoption system is being shut down. Just look at the huge decline in numbers. There have been many abuses in both the US foster care system as well as international adoption. The children are the victims.

Posted by RedSunRising on Jul 04, 2018 at 4:10am

RedSunRising, I do agree with you that the agencies take advantage hopeful adoptive parents—just as they do of natural parents—and often, if not more often than not, are dishonest about what they are facing.
Although it’s too late to help with your expensive and disappointing situation, for the record I think it’s important for hopeful adoptive parents to understand that adoption agencies, even if they are “nonprofit” (which only means they are structured to not offer dividends to investors), are a business, and their business is to get people who want children to pay the agency for the chance to get them. I know you learned this the hard way and I’m not trying to rub it in, but just hoping that by people like you sharing your experiences, and forums like this being open to people discussing these issues, others may think twice before engaging with these businesses.

Posted by NoraT on Jul 04, 2018 at 5:21pm

Hi NoraT, I totally agree with you. That is why I am sharing my story on these forums. I think the US adoption agencies are a business and their goal is to protect their reputation and make as many adoptions as possible. When the adoption does not work, they blame the adoptive family and point fingers at everyone. I am starting to become anti-adoption and believe this is a human rights issue. It is emotional abuse to play with children’s lives and emotions like this. They have been telling these two children that we are their mother and father and they are moving to the USA. That is wrong.

Posted by RedSunRising on Jul 04, 2018 at 5:52pm

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