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How hard to adopt an abandoned child in China

(People's Daily Online)

08:02, January 10, 2013

Two children are settled down in a welfare home in Kaifeng following a fatal fire that destroyed an unregistered orphanage in north China's Henan province on Jan 04, 2012. (Beijing News/ Hou Shaoqing)

Currently, there is insufficient number of professional welfare agencies. "Children welfare infrastructure was inadequate before the 11th Five-Year Plan period. After that, more attention has been given to the work," said Wang Zhenyao, director of Beijing Normal University One Foundation Philanthropy Research Institute.

Wang said China has always been encouraging caring people to adopt abandoned children and orphans. But for a long time, no subsidy was granted to such adoption at all. Besides, there are not enough professionals in the sector of children welfare in China.

"Orphan" identification procedure is cumbersome

The civil affairs departments now have very strict criteria for the definition of orphans.

Take Luoyang city in Henan province as an example, according to the provisions of the local civil affairs department, to apply for the basic living allowance for an orphan, the guardian must apply to the government of the location in accordance with the orphan's census registration and fill in the application form to obtain the welfare certificate for children.

During the application, various other documents have to be presented, such as death certificates of the orphan's parents or proof of declaration of the parents' death or missing status by the People's Court. If the orphan does have any guardian, or the local department does not take the initiative to act, it will be very hard to certify the identity of the orphan.

Industry insiders analyzed that the approval of the civil affairs department is required by law for various manners of adoption or fosterage of the orphan, but the relevant legal procedures are very cumbersome and come with many restrictions and long application cycle.

Therefore, a polarization phenomenon has appeared - on the one hand, it is difficult for families which want to adopt a child to find a favorite candidate; on the other hand, it is difficult for the caring people who have temporarily adopted an abandoned child to send out the child again. What's more, private adoptions are not protected by law.

Read the Chinese version: 孤儿社会救助之困. Source: Beijing News

Related Reading:

Chinese counties lack child welfare agencies: official

BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Government-funded child welfare agencies have been established in only a minority of China's county-level regions, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs has revealed.

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