Qualified people can adopt quake orphans in conformity with the law, once order has been restored in China's quake-hit regions, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Friday.
The ministry said many domestic and international organizations and individuals had shown concern over those orphaned during the quake, and some had even proposed to adopt orphans.
With order gradually being restored in the quake-stricken regions, the government will arrange adoptions, sources said.
In the meantime, local governments will take responsibility for looking after these orphans.
As of 4 p.m. on Thursday, the confirmed death toll in Sichuan alone was 19,509 and more than 50,000 people were estimated dead after the most devastating earthquake since 1949 rocked southwestern Sichuan Province on Monday.
With the number of homeless children increasing, the ministry told its local bureaus to look after these children and try to locate their parents or other relatives.
The ministry also asked the local bureaus to accommodate these children properly and help them recover from the impact of the quake.
(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2008)