BEIJING, July 6 (UPI) -- Foreign families may be able to adopt orphans or abandoned children not under state care in China, a senior adoption official said.
Zhang Shifeng, head of the China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption, first told China Daily regulations were being developed to expand the category for children eligible for adoption to include "children in plight."
"Children in plight" refers to orphans who can't get basic care from relatives and children whose parents couldn't provide proper care, Zhang said.
Adoption by foreign families would be effective way to permanently resettle "children in plight," he told China Daily in an interview published Friday.
China's Adoption Law, first issued in 1992 and amended in 1998, stipulates that children ages 14 and younger qualify for adoption if they have lost their parents, were abandoned or if their parents couldn't raise them properly, China Daily said.
Research by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 2009 indicated more than 600,000 children lost their parents but lived beyond formal care by the state.
"Some parentless children live with their grandparents or other relatives, but this does not guarantee that they are being properly taken care of," Zhang said.
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