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Adoption Process Begins for Orphans of the Sichuan Earthquake.

Summary: The Chinese government announced on August 23, 2008, that the first children orphaned by the Sichuan, China Earthquake would begin the adoption process. The number of children orphaned by the China earthquake was much lower than originally estimated. China earthquake orphans determined available for adoption are beginning the adoption process. The China earthquake left over 500 children orphaned but many were adopted by family members. The China earthquake struck May 12, 2008 with a magnitude of 7.8.

 

Many in the international adoption community will be happy to know that on August 23, 2008, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs began the process of adoption for 88 of the children left orphaned after the devastating Sichuan, China Earthquake. The 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck China’s Sichuan Province and Gansu Province on Monday May 12, 2008 leaving incredible destruction and the deaths of as many as many as 70,000 people.

Initial fears circulated that 10,000 or so children may be orphaned, but final estimates put the number at 532 children. Local reports told of tens of thousands of inquiries by Chinese people willing to adopt children who lost parents in the quake.

According to Chen Kefu, deputy director of the Department of Civil Affairs of Sichuan Province, relatives are given priority and financial subsidies are given to family members willing to adopt the children if the need is identified and there is a willingness to adopt. Families who lost children in the earthquake are also given priority.

The first 88 children to go through a broader adoption process will join families from mainland China. The restrictions were put in place by the Ministry of Civil Affairs shortly after the earthquake.

"Of 532 children who lost both parents in the earthquake,” said Chen Kefu,”240 were under the age of 14. Most of them had their grandparents or other relatives as guardians. Only 88 orphans currently need care." The government is also continuing to look for relatives of children, but in-country migration makes the task challenging.


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