Mother/Daughter Team Educate on Identity and Chinese Policy

Using Maya's experience as a trans-national adoptee as inspiration, Melissa and Maya Ludtke are on a mission.

Ashley Foster February 15, 2018

Mother/daughter team Melissa and Maya Ludtke have created a multimedia program for teachers and students. They used Maya’s experience as a trans-national adoptee as inspiration. The women collaborated on their idea with global educators.

Touching Home in China courses span from middle school to college. The curriculum can be used at home or at school and includes lessons and stories that cover population control policies and gender roles in China. The goal of the curriculum is to reach those who have a trans-national identity, but it is suitable for all ages and backgrounds.

The project came about after the pair noticed a lack of tools needed for one to be immersed in both cultures. On quests to learn more about her heritage, Maya was taken to the town where she was adopted. She visited at ages 7 and 16. Maya met with others her age. They seemed unaware that China’s one-child policy had led to so many to be abandoned and internationally adopted. Several hours of videos from those trips are included in their work.

Maya was just one day old when she was abandoned in a farming town. She was found and taken to an orphanage nearby. Nine months later she was adopted by Melissa. She recalls it being difficult to grow up in another country where she doesn’t look like others. Always having to answer question about why her mother didn’t look like her was hard. Then as she got older and visited China, she didn’t exactly fit in there either. She looked like them, but everything else was off. She spoke differently and carried herself with more confidence. Discussing those differences with her mother sparked the desire to help others.

China, in an attempt to control the population, had a one-child policy in place until 2015. Because most couple preferred to have a boy, a massive number of female infants were abandoned. Many of them were adopted by citizens of other countries. An estimated 80,000 women and girls can relate to the story of 21-year old Maya. Beginning in 2016, China changed to a two-child policy.

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Ashley Foster

Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees' rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at

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