With about 600,000 orphans in China, currently only 30,000 are in foster care.  The government has announced that beginning December 1, 2014 new regulations on foster families will replace the current regulation, which has been in effect for the past eleven years, according to the All-China Women’s Federation.  Included in this regulation is the injunction allowing no more than two foster children per home.  These homes must have no children of their own under the age of 6, and foster parents must have an average income for the area in which they live and have received at least 9 years of formal education.  With these strict guidelines it is expected that foster homes will be a safe, comfortable environment for China’s children.

China has a longstanding system of orphanages, with foster homes being a fairly new concept.  The fact that the government is changing regulations means that they consider foster care a progressive step toward taking care of their many parentless children.  Chinese foster parents wanting to adopt children in their care will be given preferential placement in line to adopt.

Over the past 10 years, China’s foreign adoption regulations have gotten stricter (read more about this in a 2006 New York Times article), which has contributed to the rise of children in orphanages.  It is hoped that the Chinese will become more aware of foster parenting and these children will at least be given temporary homes for their formative years.