China, being home to over 1.4 billion people, currently faces an issue of housing for one of its most vulnerable and impressionable demographics: orphans. These 10 facts about orphans in China will show how many orphans are brought in to the adoption system in infancy with little to no knowledge of the journey to come.
10 Facts About Orphans in China
Being an orphan does not necessarily mean that the child is parentless. In fact, many of the children seeking new homes have parents that are either unable to take care of them or have abandoned them for various reasons.
According to a 2016 statistic, there are currently more than 460,000 orphans in China. The exact number of orphans is undetermined, as the statistic may only show state-operated orphanages.
The vast majority of abandoned children suffer from severe birth defects and serious health issues. However, parents are unable to provide them with proper care; likewise, the state does not provide medical assistance for abandoned children.
Many children, usually newborns, are usually given to baby hatches. A baby hatch is a small home where parents drop off children, where they hopefully will be taken to an orphanage.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs began the baby hatch program as a response to the increasing number of abandoned infants. Currently, there are 32 baby hatches across China, and each hatch only accepts children from within the same city.
Children with disabilities are usually unable to find homes that can provide specific medical attention, and after a certain age, some live within senior homes.
Chinese orphanages are highly lacking in the proper education and medical resources needed for disabled children. As a result, disabled children are often excluded from activities necessary for social development.
According to the Adoption Law of the People’s Republic of China, children over the age of 14 become ineligible for international adoption, at which point they are either transferred to a senior living center or have to find work.
The potential parent of an adoptive child can refuse to adopt the child before the age of 10 without consent from the child. Once the child reaches 10 years of age, they are given the right to consent an adoptive relationship.
It is also understood that if the relationship between the child and the adoptive parent begins to negatively impact the child’s life, the adoption can be terminated through a mutual agreement.
These 10 facts about orphans in China shed some light on a large and controversial issue. Although China is able to provide a multitude of opportunities for jobless adults, enact laws on senior care and ensure its citizens are not left behind, there is very little knowledge of or care for welfare-seeking children. In hopes of combating these issues, organizations such as Rainbow Kids work alongside orphanages and other nonprofits to provide the education and parental assistance needed to ensure the children’s safety and well-being, giving them hope and opportunities for the future.