For years, photographer Zhang Ou has been in contact with more than 100 adoptive families and photographed 80 sets of America fathers with their adopted Chinese children, hoping to provoke discussion on these families’ culture, ideas and the social relationships.
The above picture of Tim Hunt and his 11-year-old daughter Willow was taken in Willow’s room. Tim Hunt graduated from Cambridge University and works in New York in the US. His wife is a writer. Their daughter was adopted from Hefei, Anhui province in China.
There have been more than 70,000 Chinese children adopted by American families since 1991. Among them, most were girls who were abandoned due to China’s family-planning policy.
Ed Pauly and his daughter
Ed Pauly and his family live in New York. He earns a quite good salary as an educator. The little dog and his daughter go together like peas and carrots.
China has a large numbers of orphans. According to the civil affairs department, the number of registered orphans has reached 523,000. It’s estimated that at least 110,000 Chinese kids have been adopted by foreign families, and America has undoubtedly become the biggest adoptive country.
According to Zhang, the majority of American families who adopt kids from China are middle-class rich white Americans. 91 percent of the children adopted were girls, 44 percent were under one year old when they were adopted and 52 percent were between one year old to four years old.
Kenneth LaPensee and his 11-year-old daughter Amy
Kenneth LaPensee and his family live in New Jersey. His daughter is very cute and has good personality. Her adoptive parents love her very much.
In many American parents’ eyes, Chinese girls with long hair are very cute. That’s why many Chinese girls who are adopted wear beautiful long black hair, Zhang adds.
Simon Stacy and his daughter
Simon Stacy says he is proud of his daughter who is an excellent ballet dancer.
After Chinese’s Laws of Adoption were implemented in 1992, more and more abandoned kids were adopted each year.
Allan Brazil and his daughter
Allan Brazil’s family lives in Connecticut. He is a father with successful career.
According to the law, to adopt a kid in China, foreigners need to provide many certificates and also need to prove the adoptive relationship in court.
Adopting a Chinese orphan usually costs at least $20,000. After the adoption laws became stricter in 2007, American families have had to wait for some four years before adopting a child.
Brad Pelton and his daughter
The photo was taken when Brad Pelton was 60 years old and his daughter was about four.
Allan Woolway and his daughter
Allan Woolway lives with his twin daughters in New Jersey. His daughters were originally from Beijing. To take this picture, they selected the qipao and parasols on their own. Allan is such a patient dad that he has almost never said “NO” to his daughter.
Thomas Allen and his daughter
When taking the picture, Thomas Allen’s two daughter, Mei Lan and Qiu Meng were 13 and 14 respectively. They were some of the earliest adopted kids from China. Mei Lan was adopted in 1991 while Qiu Meng was adopted in 1992, just as the Laws of Adoption in China came into effect.
Father Glenn and daughter Claudia
Glenn and his family live in Brooklyn. He and ten-year-old Claudia get along very well with each other.
This father and his daughter live on the west coast in Portland. The daughter has a mental disability.
Zhang says that quite a lot of American parents adopt disabled kids. These parents need to be very caring and patient.
Daddy David Hershey and eight-year-old daughter Lydia
David Hershey and family live in Portland. He works in a pharmaceuticals company.
This series of photos has melted the hearts of Chinese netizens.
A web user from Zhejiang wrote, “I’d like to give these American fathers a big thumbs up.”
“It is you who gave them a loving home. Nothing else is more important. Thank you all for your kindness.” added a Beijing netizen.
“At least they are adopted and it’s better than being a homeless. I wish them happiness.” a Shandong user remarked.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via NetEase]