Currently 878 non-government-affiliated agencies are housing 9,394 orphans and abandoned babies across China, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Friday.
Of the total, 583 are run by religious groups, with the rest operated by individuals or other organizations, according to statistics released by the ministry.
The ministry said 4,654 of all orphans and abandoned babies, or 49.5 percent, are under government supervision and receiving state subsidies.
It has determined that some private orphanages or foster homes are not qualified to care for orphans and abandoned babies, and these organizations have been ordered to transfer the children to government-run welfare institutions, said Zhan Chengfu, a social welfare official with the ministry.
Figures released earlier this year by the ministry indicate that China is home to about 615,000 orphans.
Only 109,000 of these orphans live in government-funded agencies, with the remainder in the custody of relatives or private orphanages.
The ministry is helping to include the orphans and abandoned babies in the country's institutional protection mechanisms and improve the facilities of private orphanages, said Zhan.
It also sends professional nursing personnel to work in private orphanages and foster homes and help train staff there.
Zhan said the ministry is working out special policies to regulate private agencies and better protect orphans and abandoned babies.