“What if I wasn’t given away?”

It’s the question that has crossed the mind of almost every adopted child. Very few get satisfactory answers, but from “Mommy Dearest” to “Star Wars,” the foundling’s search has long created powerful narratives.

Now, a new phase in this subgenre is beginning, as adoptees resulting from China’s one-child policy reach maturity and begin their quest for answers.

“Ricki’s Promise,” a documentary about a Seattle teen’s summer spent with her birth family in China, began showing on the U.S. film festival circuit this month. Next month, the U.S. cable network SundanceTV will premiere “One Child,” a fictional mini-series about a British-American adoptee’s involvement with her China family. “Touching Home” is an electronic book in production about two Massachusetts teenagers’ return to their rural China roots.

Read my full piece in The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time blog here.