Made in China: Adoption and Options

As someone who was adopted, my thoughts about Roe v. Wade being overturned in June made me reflect on my own story and how I personally wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my birth mother who put me up for adoption. I thank God every day that I am here in the United States. Having the opportunity to attend college, receive an education and live in a mostly “free” country is a luxury that most of us take for granted.

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned this ruling made over 50 years ago which guaranteed a women’s right to abortion nationwide, I got to thinking: What if China made abortion illegal? What would the repercussions be and how would that affect the millions of families overseas?

When I was born in 2001, China still strictly enforced the one-child policy. This policy was to ensure the population of the country wouldn’t get too large, since China is one of the countries with the largest populations in the world. Culturally, families in China wanted to keep the male child in hopes to carry on the family name and join the workforce for the family. On the other side, the female babies were less desirable and put into orphanages like myself, or aborted. In 2016, China became more lenient and authorities ended this policy. Currently, families in China are allowed up to three children per household.

As someone who was raised in the United States since she was nine months old, I feel like I have a unique outlook on the whole debate and the “war on women’s bodies.” Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life I believe that even without options, women in strict circumstances like China, still had the ability to choose what they wanted to do with their bodies.

I also think it is quite strange that one of the biggest social issues in politics is surrounded by what women can or can’t do with their bodies, yet who knows if we’ll even have a world to live in to fight about this issue.

Regardless of where you stand, I think that here in the United States we pride ourselves on democracy and the freedoms we have that many in other countries do not. Even faced with a policy that limits the number of children you can have, women in China chose adoption while having other options available. Taking away that option isn’t going to take away that option, only criminalize it.

Write to Julia Barton at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.