left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Abandoned kids deserve care

Updated: 2013-01-07 20:49
( chinadaily.com.cn)

We are living in a modern world. Yet, our treatment of abandoned children is still outdated. As the tragedy in Lankao, Henan province, indicated, the livelihood of these children is dependant on the "kindness and benevolence" of individual citizens. The shabby living environments and heartbreaking lives of these marginalized children are the great shame of our time, says an article of Beijing News Daily. Excerpts:

Poor mother Yuan Lihai from Lankao in Henan province, is famous not for her adoption of more than 100 abandoned babies over the past two decades, but for a fire that burned her house to the ground, killing seven children. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Yuan does not have the capacity to provide a clean and healthy living environment for the children she adopted. The children lack necessary medical care and live mainly as scavengers. Were it not for the fire, their sorrowful living conditions would not have been exposed to the public.

The question is, where were the civil authorities before the fire? They only turned up as firefighters. The adoption law of China clearly rules that civil departments have an obligation to verify the qualifications of adopters to ensure adopted children have good living conditions.

Apparently, Yuan does not meet the criterion for a legal adopter of so many kids, and there are some suspicions that she is using the children to make money.

This case suggests the grassroots charity of China is lacking necessary supervision and assistance. There should be an accountability system for civil authorities in such cases to make them fulfill their responsibilities.