Every Child
6/30/15 at 08:23 AM 0 Comments

Bringing Hope to Children with Down Syndrome in China

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Stigma and other barriers to success are all too common for people with Down syndrome in the United States and across the globe. Abandoned children in China with Down syndrome face an unprecedented uphill battle in finding a family in their home country, as the stigma is so extreme it often warrants them “unadoptable.”

A new effort is underway to bring hope to these children. The Bamboo Project is a focused recruitment effort created by Bethany Christian Services to find families for children with Down syndrome. In less than two years, 10 children have been matched with loving forever families through the project.

Simeon is an introverted boy who enjoys listening to music and playing with the toys. When there is music playing he will laugh happily. Terah's caregivers describe her as a quiet girl with a rosy face, ready smile, and glimmer in her eyes. She is fond of being held and will blow kisses. Though quiet, Asher is an energetic little boy with a beautiful smile. He recognizes familiar people and is happy to see his caregivers.

These children are some of the 20 that are still in need of homes, with others still to come. Given the response we have seen to date from loving families across the country, in addition to the support we have received from advocates for children with Down syndrome, I’m confident that we will be able to match these children with forever families in the near future.

According to the CDC, Down syndrome continues to be the most common chromosomal disorder in the U.S., affecting roughly one in 700 babies born each year. People with Down syndrome have a wide variety of abilities and are able to thrive and prosper, given the right environment to learn and grow. Due to advances in community engagement and family-based care, the average lifespan of a person with Down syndrome has grown to 60 years.

Children with Down syndrome are a true blessing to families. According to the American Journal of Medical Genetics, 79 percent of parents report that their outlook on life was more positive because of their child with Down syndrome. Additionally, 94 percent of siblings age 9 and older expressed feelings of pride about their sibling with Down syndrome.

A growing number of families are recognizing the enormous need for their love and care amongst children with Down syndrome in China, and are making the decision to open their hearts and homes to these little ones. The Bamboo Project and the families that have committed to it are leading the charge for positive change and progress for Chinese children with Down syndrome.

If you’re interested in learning more about the specific children mentioned above or others that Bethany is working with, please contact our Global Services Department at 1.800.652.7082.

Learn more about Bethany’s adoption services here in the United States and around the world at bethany.org.

Written by Bill Blacquiere, president and CEO of Bethany Christian Services

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