Adoptive mom Jaime Butler has helped many families find additional information on their child through her instructions on how to search using Chinese search engines. This information could be pictures from an event at their orphanage or a news article about their finding. Jaime has allowed me to post her instructions here. I have added screenshots to help you through the process.
If you don’t have Google Chrome, download it. It is easier to use Google Chrome, because it has an option to translate everything for you, to English.
- Open Google Chrome
- Open a tab on Chrome with Google Translate in it.
- Open another tab
- Search for either Baidu or Soso (now merged with Sogou). Both are Chinese search engines. There are a few other search engines that you can use too, but those are the two that I have had the best luck with.
- After searching for Baidu or Sogou, click on it, to open it in that tab.
Now the fun begins!
In Google translate, type what you want to search for and translate it to Chinese characters.
Copy and paste these characters into the search bar in the Chinese search engine.
At the top of the screen, it will most likely ask if you want the page translated, and it will also sometimes ask if you want to always translate.
Once you have searched using Chinese characters, it will look similar to a google search, and you can choose to look at images, news articles, etc. I often will click on images or pictures. I then will scroll through the pictures and click on ones that look like they may be related. You can also scroll through the news or web or other options. The two I have had the best luck with are Images, and news.
Usually I will start out by right clicking on about 10 articles at a time and opening them in a new tab, so that they can load while I start looking at some of them, and so I don’t “lose” my search that I just did, and I can go back to it after I look at those 10, and open 10 more.
With baidu, you will then have to click on the picture again, to be brought to the new story. With soso, you have to click again, but I don’t remember where you click.
Again, if you haven’t set it up to auto-translate, you will have to click on translate at the top of the page.
There is usually a date at the top of the article, so you can tell right away if it is even close to the range that you are looking for. Then if it is, you can look for key things like where the article is from, etc.
Some tips for searching:
- Things that I usually will translate and search for are: Gender, age at finding, birthday, finding day, specific finding spot, name in Chinese characters, city, province, SWI, and any other facts that would make your child stand out compared to another.
- I will often only put one or two facts into the translator at once, and then combine them in the search bar. I also will often only search for one or two facts about my child at once. For example, Nanchang baby cleft.
- I don’t include words that aren’t necessary when searching. So I don’t search for something like “A baby was found with cleft in Nanchang, on…” Instead I would search for “Nanchang baby cleft”
- I try many different combinations of the facts that I have.
- I also try the words in different orders. For example: Baby with cleft Nanchang
- Try both being very specific and not very specific
- When using Google translate you can hover over the Chinese translation, and it will let you see the translation of each character or group of characters. You can then choose other ones. Try them all.
- Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find something right away. It took me two months of searching before I finally found anything about my son.
Here are some key words that I use in my searches: newborn, baby, child, specific city that the child is from, province the child is from, cleft or other special need, abandoned, found, left, foundling, orphanage, social welfare institute, near, boy, girl, and again anything different that would make your child’s situation stand out.