Friday, May 23, 2008

Quake in China Leaves Behind Thousands of Orphans

The earthquake in southwestern China displaced five million people, and many families were separated, leaving parents and children still looking for their loved ones. In the chaos, there has been a special outpouring of concern for the thousands of children who may have been orphaned.

Tens of thousands of refugees now live around this stadium - their homes were destroyed in the earthquake. Names ring out on the loudspeaker of people who are still missing.

Many of the homeless are children who have gotten separated from their parents. Their big concern is who will take care of them in the days to come, especially if it turns out that their parents are among the tens of thousands killed by the quake.

The Chinese government already is working to sign people who may want adopt some of those orphans.

For now, though, adoption officials are keeping unaccompanied children inside the gymnasium, to keep them safe while they search for their parents. After two months, any children who have not found their parents or other relatives will be registered as orphans.

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