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Orphans' Rights Boosted

Beijing's orphans have been given a boost by changes to the household registration system that gives them increased rights.

Beginning Sunday unregistered orphans were brought under the hukou system of household registration.

The new legislation was promulgated at the beginning of the year by the Beijing municipal civil affairs bureau and the public security bureau, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

It officially took effect over the weekend.

If an orphan does not have a household registration it can be difficult to be accepted by a college, find a job or even get married.

The changes will give orphans more rights, in line with the rest of society, deputy director of the welfare department of the Beijing municipal civil affairs bureau Wei Xiaobiao said.

"Actually, we've been promoting hukou registration among orphans for a long time, but there has been a lack of support," Wei said.

Beijing has 15 orphanages but the total number of kids is unknown, Wei said.

In addition, an estimated 2,000 orphans have been adopted by Beijing households.

The only snag could be that household adoption may be held up as police must first confirm the identity of the parents, if possible.

This is to prevent family-planning violations, Wei said.

Some families have reportedly sought hukou for their kids under the orphan adoption route, thereby attempting to circumvent the nation's one-child policy.

(China Daily September 4, 2007)

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