Taipei, July 7 (CNA) More resources are needed for Taiwan's adoption system that sees an average of 4,000 children being put up for adoption each year, an official from the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said Saturday.
A lack of resources to support struggling families in Taiwan means many children that are put up for adoption are adopted by overseas parents, said Chang Hsiu-yuan, director-general of the Children's Welfare Bureau under the MOI.
In terms of the number of children adopted by people living overseas, Taiwan is sixth in the world, Chang said.
Chang made the remarks at a press conference held jointly with the Garden of Hope Foundation to call for more resources, as well as urge people to take greater interest in adoption affairs and adopt Taiwanese children so they can remain in their native country.
Most children put up for adoption are born to mothers aged 20 or under who are not financially able to raise children, said Chi Hiu-jung, head of the foundation.
However, in recent years, more women aged above 20 are being forced to put their children up for adoption because of financial hardships resulting from the global economic slowdown, she added.
Chi also pointed out that in the past, around 70 percent of adoption cases were handled privately, resulting in cases of children being sold by poor families to anybody willing to take their children.
With a new law governing adoption and children's rights taking effect June 1, adoptions are now only allowed by people who are close relatives or certified nonprofit organizations and institutions, she said.
Chi lauded the new law, saying she expects it to prevent the practices of abandoning or selling children.
(By Chen Chih-chung and Elizabeth Hsu)