The government is toughening rules to tackle the scourge of child trafficking, including making orphanages the only institutions that can offer abandoned children for adoption, an official said.The rules are clearly directed at domestic adoption, not international adoption. But it will also test China's commitment to domestic adoption over international adoption, I think. With these rules in effect, I would think more children will end up in orphanages, rather than siphoned off into domestic adoption, both legal and illegal. With more children in the orphanages, will the orphanages prefer the hard currency that international adoption brings?
"Illegal adoption", whereby adults can adopt without official registration, will also be targeted.
Enhancing the role of orphanages in the adoption process will better protect the rights of children and curb trafficking, Ji Gang, director of the domestic adoption department of the China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA), told China Daily.
The draft of the rules, due to be introduced by the end of the year, will force adults to go through official channels and reduce the demand for abducted children, he added.
The Registration Measures for the Adoption of Children by Chinese Citizens has been in place since 1999. It stipulates that a citizen can adopt a child from sources other than an orphanage if the applicant does not have any offspring and meets certain requirements in terms of age, health and financial status.
As a result, children have been adopted through various routes, such as hospitals and friends.
This was a system that allowed certain people to profit from adoptions.
According to the revised rules, to be worked out jointly by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and CCCWA, all abandoned infants and young children should be sent to orphanages for adoption, Ji said.
Still hoping for change
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