I included a lot of links in my three posts on adoption in Japan, but there were some that didn't quite fit in, so I'm just going to share them here.
Tens of thousands of minors live in children’s homes in Japan, but cultural and legal issues keep most of these youngsters needing caring homes from being united with couples who want a child to love.http://www.crnjapan.net/The_Japan_Childrens_Rights_Network/res-ado.html is an overview of the legal issues around adoption as it currently stands.
A Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare survey shows that 29,399 children were living in orphanages in 2012. But while more than 7,000 couples applied to adopt or become foster parents every year between 2006 and 2010, only 309 children were adopted in fiscal 2010, according to ministry figures.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2002/07/28/culture/putting-her-house-in-order/#.UnGghBAw9FD is about a TV documentary and contains some interesting background information about orphanages:
This week’s “Document ’02″ (Nippon TV, Sunday, 12:55 a.m.) will profile the Sakamotos, a Tokyo couple who are raising five foster children, ranging in age from 5 to 9. In the entire city of Tokyo, there are only 200 registered foster families. According to specialists, most orphans grow up severely traumatized, which is why family-type foster care is so important. But almost all of these orphans are forced to spend their entire childhood and adolescence locked up in institutions.
is specifically about the controversy surrounding Kumamoto's baby hatch, but also has some interesting contextualising information:
http://www.onceatraveler.com/adoption-in-japan describes experiences as a volunteer at an orphanage and is really worth reading:
Research shows growing up in an institution often leads to disadvantages in emotional development as well as education and employment, which is why many say attitudes towards adoption need to be changed in Japan.
"I used to have a very negative image of adoption and I think a lot of other people do too," explained 38-year-old housewife Tomoyo Suzuki, adding that her thinking changed after she went to a seminar about it. She and her husband went on to adopt two babies now aged three and one.
"I think a lot of people are concerned about blood ties."
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe -- who criticized the "baby hatch" for encouraging parents to opt out of their responsibilities -- and his wife, Akie, themselves rejected the idea of adopting.
It’s still difficult. To imagine what it’s like without a real home. One of the volunteers is literally in tears as we pull away, bidding farewell to the staff and thanking them for the opportunity to visit. We can escape. We can return to our apartments, Skype our parents, and continue on with our lives. They will wake up, go to school, and return to a place not unlike school, where they will most likely live for the next few years, until reaching 18 or 20.http://openprivatelife.blogspot.jp/2013/01/japanese-orphanage-orphan-foster.html
We saw one day. One atypical day. They live it for years. It’s not horrible, it’s not cruel, but it can’t be what’s best; even a mother shouting and screaming for ten minutes because you forgot to call home is a sign of love. Something that just can’t just duplicated without a home, a family.
I volunteer at an orphanage in Japan. When people hear about my volunteer job, they often ask me a lot questions. A lot of people are curious about Japanese orphanages since it’s something that is hardly ever discussed openly. I decided to write answers to the most common questions I’m asked about Japanese orphanages.