Officials in China have ruled that the country’s religious groups are not supposed to force abandoned or orphaned children that they adopt to follow their faith. The Ministry of Civil Affairs and State Administration for Religious Affairs issued a joint notice.
The notice stated that religious groups have been of great help in taking care of abandoned children. However, problems regarding methods of care, as well as education have also raised some questions. The notice clarified that religious groups which are eligible for adoption need to be registered and this should also include facilities and personnel.
Moreover, unregistered groups or individuals will not be allowed to take in orphaned or adopted children in the name of religion. If they want to be eligible for registration, these groups must have stable financial resources with standardized fire safety and health conditions, in addition to other requirements for child care. Religious groups which fulfill the criteria can file an application for a contract with the country’s Ministry of Civil Affairs. They can also register to be an adopter and can continue to provide adoption services under the new rules.
Officials of the country’s civil and religious affairs will help eligible and religious entities without qualified adoption requirements to improve infrastructure in order to meet the standards.
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