However, she still finds herself struggling with identity issues at job interviews. She encounters prejudice from her fellow Hong Kongers and she puts it down to the fact that many people tend to look at skin color rather than nationality.
Except in Hong Kong, skin colour, or more specifically ethnicity, does not indictate nationality. Her application for a Chinese SAR passport was rejected because she is not biologically Chinese, and an administrative blunder at birth means she could not acquire the nationality of her adoptive parents.
“This is sad and deplorable,” she says. “The government talks a lot about anti-race discrimination, but many of its own policies are in fact fraught with racism.” Recently, under media pressure, the government accepted Cheung’s application.
Although she is disheartened by society’s denial of her Hong Kong identity, Cheung nevertheless sees herself as a complete Hong Konger and is not keen on tracing her roots. “Root tracing will make me emotionally more confused,” she explains. “I don’t want that chance to re-question myself who I am.” She adds that she may go to Pakistan one day to see what the country is like, but has no intention to find her birth mother.
Despite the difficulties she faces in the outside world, Cheung feels perfectly safe when she is at home. “My mother once said, ‘I will raise you up no matter how hard it will be’,” she says, “I really feel so lucky to be brought up by her in Hong Kong, if not I would be following my birth mother as a drug trafficker in Pakistan.”
While Cheung’s adoption story contains struggles and difficulties as well as triumph over the odds, the interracial adoption of Jessica by the Woodyatt family seems to be much smoother.
The Woodyatt’s, who are from Australia, have found the experience of adoption very enjoyable. Victoria Woodyatt, is happy and grateful that they have not encountered many difficulties.
Woodyatt and her husband decided to adopt a child after Victoria gave birth to their first son, Daniel. They decided they did not want Daniel to be an only child and when he was three they went to the Social Welfare Department to start adoption procedures for Jessica.
When they were told about Jessica’s background and her health, the couple thought everything was perfect about her. It took them only nine months to process the adoption and welcome Jessica to their home.
Woodyatt and her husband see Jessica as their own daughter. She thinks modern western culture attaches less importance to blood lines. “When I look at her, Jessica is just Jessica, my daughter,” she says. “The time, effort, care and love that we’ve put into her make her. I don’t care whether she’s a Caucasian or Chinese.”
Daniel and Jessica, who is now eight, get along well. “I was so touched and happy when I first saw her at home because I’d got a Chinese adopted sister,” says Daniel. “I don’t care where she is from and I will take care of her just the same as the elder brothers in other families.”
The siblings attend the same local school and while Jessica does not get any special attention, Daniel is the one who stands out as the only kid at school with blonde hair. Jessica does not face many difficulties over her status, as the school has explained to the children what adoption is and they have all accepted it very well.