Authorities to ban names that identify orphans

Updated: 2012-02-09 07:46

By He Dan (China Daily)

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New rules aim to make all children grow up as equals

BEIJING - China plans to forbid orphanages from giving children names that may prove discriminatory against them later in life.

Names to be banned would include those with a political connotation and those that reflect the place or nature in which the child becomes orphaned or abandoned, said an official from the Ministry of Civil Affairs this week.

"We don't want children who grow up in orphanages to carry labels that imply they are different from those who have parents," said Chen Lunan, children's welfare deputy director at the department of social welfare and charity promotion.

He added that the ministry is amending regulations on the management of child welfare institutions to ensure that only the 100 most common Chinese surnames are used for naming children. The new rules are expected to come into effect later this year, he said.

About 100,000 children with unidentified parents live in about 900 orphanages and children's homes nationwide, according to ministry statistics.

Li Jinju, a staff member from an orphanage in Central China's Henan province, said that all children taken into its care before 2010 were given the name Dang, which means Party in Chinese.

Authorities to ban names that identify orphans 

Children with growing difficulties have a happy time with the help of volunteers at Xuchang Social Welfare Institute, Henan province. Niu Shupei / for China Daily

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