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Call to relax adoption criteria

By Bob Yang  (Shanghai Daily)

10:49, March 06, 2013

CHINA should make adoption easier amid the increasing number of families who want to adopt as well as the problem of abductions and child trafficking, a national lawmaker said yesterday.

China has more than a million families who want to adopt, but strict legal criteria dissuades many of them, Jia Weiping, director of the Shanghai Diabetes Institute and Shanghai No. 6 People's Hospital, said.

The law stipulates that adopters must have no children and be above 30 years old. Each family can adopt only one child and the children also have to be younger than 14 years old.

Jia said the age of adopters could be younger so that young couples who can't have children can adopt earlier, while the age limit on children could also be raised.

The increasing number of families who want to adopt include infertile couples and families who have lost their only child, according to Jia.

However, the number of adoption has been decreasing, she said. A total of 31,000 families were registered to adopt children in 2011, 9 percent fewer than in 2009.

Meanwhile, the number of orphans in China was more than 700,000.

"Lower standards on adoption can allow more orphans to be adopted and protected from being abducted and forced to beg on streets," Jia said.

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