A policy memorandum published today by Ministry of Civil Affairs and Sichuan Provincial Government has highlighted the principles regarding the care of earthquake orphans. The priority is given to children’s relatives and parents who lost their children in the earthquake.
In short term, orphans and children with missing parents must be taken care by the local government, in separation with other victims. While in the process of identifying their parents, the authority must arrange the children to be taken care by social welfare organisation, temporary foster families or boarding schools in other areas of Sichuan with better conditions, or other provinces.
In long term, the momorandum has highlighted several principles in terms of child adoption and fostering. The priority will be given to children’s relatives, with the support of local government. If relatives can not be found, or are not able to support the child, those families who lost their children in the earthquake will be given the priority to adopt an orphan. The orphans can also be fostered by other families in China who are willing to help. The memorandum stresses that consent must be sought from the child if he or she is over 10 years old before being adopted or fostered. Some orphans may be taken by orphanages.
CEO, Mother Bridge of Love
04 June 2008
Psychological counselling and school rebuilding are the two big challenges local educational authorities are facing. Before the earthquake, local government has embarked on a plan of bridging the gap of quality and access between urban and rural areas by building central boarding schools for the children from remote rural areas, who can study in Town Centre Schools with better facilities and teaching resources. Now the focus is on assessing how to rebuild schools quickly. It’s likely as the first step, temporary schools will be built in the central areas.
The earthquake has left more than 4000 children orphaned or without proper parental care. There has been huge waves of sympathy from families around China. Many of them also have expressed the willingness to adopt an earthquake orphan. International adoption is not high on the agenda.
Our local correspondents and volunteers also told me the distribution of aids is not even, largely dependent on accessibility. Towns and villages along the main roads have been well covered. However villages difficult to reach need more aids. Some self-organised volunteers with better transport, knowledge and equipments are doing well in filling the gaps.
CEO, Mother Bridge of Love
27 May 2008
(The information for MBL from FanWu in USA.)
Chinese eager to adopt quake orphans By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN and CARA ANNA, Associated Press Writers
The children’s faces stare in somber black-and-white photos from newspapers and scribbled posters at relief camps, seeking their parents. Many will never find them.
As the first estimate of orphans - more than 4,000 - emerged Thursday from last week’s deadly earthquake, thousands of Chinese are rushing to offer their homes. “My husband and I would really like to adopt an earthquake orphan (0-3 years old),” Wang Liqin wrote on popular Web site Tianya.com in a forum that was already three pages long.
The high interest is another sign of China’s tremendous post-quake outpouring of sympathy, buoyed by rising prosperity. And it’s a surprising turnabout in a country in which government red-tape, poverty and traditional attitudes long combined to discourage adoption.
The new enthusiasm also means that Americans and other foreigners wanting to adopt may not have a chance. Officials estimate that the number of Chinese wanting to adopt the earthquake’s orphans may outnumber the orphans themselves.