Stricter adoption options in China won’t change ministry outlook.

By February 19, 2007

China
(MNN) — Future adoptive parents will face tougher restrictions from China beginning
in May.  China's
new rules require prospective parents to have more education, better physical
health, and a stable home and marriage. 

Specifically, China will require parents to be
between ages 30 and 50, be married at least two years and have $80,000 in
assets. In addition, they cannot be obese, have mental health issues or have
any other medical condition.  Prospective
adoptive parents must have at least a high school diploma and single parents no
longer will be allowed to adopt.

Published news sources estimate the new restrictions may
affect as many as half of the families in the future.  The waiting list for hopeful parents was
getting longer and longer.  For Bethany
Christian Services, the current wait time from
to referral is 17-18 months… and it continues to increase.  The government's solution was to
create a new economy.  Tougher
restrictions would effectively cull out the best candidates for the children available
for adoption.

Bethany Christian Services' China coordinator, Jaclyn Skalnik
says the changes also point to one thing: "I believe that they are moving
towards domestic adoption.  So, when we hear these new guidelines, I think
we have a tendency to, of course, wonder what's happening with the
children.  I think the movement in China
is that, their goal, and everyone's goal is to keep as many children in China,
with Chinese families, as possible."

Skalnik says through a continued a positive relationship
with the government, they'll keep the door open for ministry. "I believe,
as a Christian agency, it's still our priority of course to care for the
fatherless, and pray for those that we cannot care for. I think that we have
somewhat of a trusting relationship and understanding with all of our
countries, whether they are Christian countries or not, that, where we can
help, we will."

There continues to be
millions of orphans in China.
Bethany staff believe they are privileged to
work in China
and serve all His children. Pray for the continued protection of the children,
their caretakers, and for all the waiting families.

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