Local adoption attorney weighs possible impact of China’s relaxation of one-child policy on U.S. adoptions

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HUNTSVILLE, AL - China's government made a major cultural shift this week.  It will now allow all couples to now have two children -- effectively ending its decades-old "one child policy."

For years, Americans have adopted more children from China than any other country. There have been an abundance of children available for adoption because of the country's one-child policy, meant to control population growth. But now, as the population ages, China will allow families to have two children.

Huntsville adoption attorney Aaron Ryan says he believes initially, children available for adoption in China will decrease, but believes more babies being born will mean more babies available for adoption.

"You'll probably have families that want a second child have a second child, but I think in the long run you'll see a greater number of children available for adoption," said Ryan.

Ryan says the shift's effect on U.S. adoptions will not likely be immediate, saying it could take up to three years to see an impact.

Ryan says while it's too soon to tell the definite effect the policy shift will have on U.S. adoptions, now is a good time to make a decision if you've been considering adoption.

"If you've been on the fence considering a child from China, now is the time to find a good adoption agency and start that process," said Ryan, adding the process is quite long and can be rigorous.