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New adoption rules 'not to deter foreigners'
Latest Updated by 2007-01-04 09:34:24
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CHINA'S new adoption rules are not meant to restrict the number of foreigners who can adopt Chinese children, but to ensure that children receive the best possible family care, according to an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs yesterday (Jan 3).


The new rules, to take effect May 1, make it more difficult for overweight, single and less well-off foreigners to adopt. They give priority to stable, economically secure foreign couples aged between 30 and 50.


Lu Ying, director of the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) under the ministry, explained that China now has far fewer children available for adoption by foreign couples.


"More domestic families have adopted children from our center in recent years, and due to economic and social developments, fewer children have been abandoned or orphaned,"Lu said.


According to international convention, preference is given to domestic families rather than foreign couples.


The number of foreigners applying to adopt a child in China has increased, and they usually have to wait 14 to 15 months, Lu said.


"The new rules will help shorten waiting time for qualified foreigners and speed up the process for children, especially the disabled,"he said.


Reports by foreign media said the new rules were aimed at curbing the number of foreigners who can adopt Chinese children.


Xing Kaimin, another CCAA official, denied this, saying that the new criteria were meant to protect children's interests and not to show prejudice against less qualified applicants, who can still apply.


Obese people are more likely to suffer from diseases and might have a shorter life expectancy, which would have an impact on the life of the adopted child, Xing said.


Other criteria say the applicant couple must have been married for at least two years, and those who have divorced must have been remarried for at least five years.


The current law allows single foreigners to adopt Chinese children, but requires the father to be at least 40 years older than the adopted girl.


Another new requirement says that adoptive parents must have fewer than four children.


Editor: Wing 

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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