London, Sept.9 : Only one child orphaned in China's devastating earthquake this year has won adoption so far. The process of finding new homes for 88 children whose parents have been confirmed dead or who have no relatives able to care for them has been hampered by bureaucratic red tape and by age-old prejudices against the disabled, reports The Times.
Zhang Anyun, 10, who lost both of his parents in the earthquake on May 12 when their apartment collapsed under the force of the 8.0 magnitude tremor, has been adopted after the Government issued a list on August 23 of 88 orphans who were eligible for adoption.
Li Boshan, an official of the bureau of civil affairs that is responsible for adoptions, said: "Zhang Anyun signed his name agreeing to be adopted after living with the couple for some time in Chengdu."
Children aged 10 and over must give their own permission to be adopted.
Most people also prefer to adopt children under the age of 6. Of the 88 children, only 28 are aged between 5 and 10 and 54 are between 10 and 14.
Officials said that 532 children lost their parents in the earthquake, which killed nearly 70,000 people and left 18,000 missing.
Family members or guardians have taken in most of the children. Adoptions are not open to foreigner couples, including residents of the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau, and Taiwanese citizens. The ministry said that only childless Chinese couples over the age of 30 could be considered as adoptive parents.