In 2014, (un)adopted® opened a foster center in China to reach orphaned and vulnerable children. At the foster center, 13 children were given a safe haven where they receive needed, individualized care. Over the past few weeks, children who were in foster care across Guangdong province in China have been removed from both private and government foster care centers and families and placed back into their original State Welfare Institutions. Unfortunately, Lifeline’s foster center in Guangdong province has also been affected by these events.
As of this week, all of the children in the care of Lifeline’s Foster Center have been moved back to their orphanages.
We have learned that this action in Guangdong was caused primarily from the recent discovery of substandard care in a care center in Guangdong province. This center is not a foreign-owned or -run facility, is in a different area of the province than Lifeline’s center, and is not related to Lifeline in any way. Unfortunately, the government’s province-wide reaction to this discovery is affecting children in many well-managed foster homes and private care centers, including the Lifeline Foster Center.
Through God’s grace, Lifeline’s (un)adopted® director, Matt Laughlin, was in China when we received word that the children at our foster center would be required to return to their orphanage. We are encouraged by the way that our tremendous staff at the Lifeline Foster Center handled and navigated this incredibly tough and painful situation.
Lifeline, as always, remains committed to caring for orphaned children in China in whatever way the Lord allows and leads. For the children that were being cared for in Lifeline’s foster center in Zhanjiang, China, we are continuing to work to see that they receive the quality and level of care that we have worked to provide over the years at the foster center. As we continue to monitor these events, we are working closely with our staff on the ground in China and with our orphanage and government partners to continue to look for options moving forward. We will provide specific updates as they become available.
We are saddened by the implications of this news for the children we have loved and cared for, as well as the children all over the country of China who will be affected. Although our hearts are broken over these events, we know that this was not a surprise to our Heavenly Father. He holds each of these children in His hand, and He is at work in this situation. We believe that He is good; He is sovereign; and He cares for these children.
Still, we need your prayers. We may feel helpless at times, but the Lord has not left us without work to do or hope to have in His sovereign, righteous Hand. We ask you to join us in prayer as we specifically plead before the throne for these precious souls:
- The children, many of whom have challenging special needs or medical needs, that were at our foster center and the other foster centers in Guangdong province
- Our orphanage partners, as many children returned to these State Welfare Centers
- The government officials involved in these decisions, that the Lord would impress upon them the value of these children
- Our team at Lifeline as we seek the Lord for wisdom and direction moving forward
For some of these children, adoption may be the best option, so in addition to prayer, we are currently collecting funds to provide support to Lifeline families who pursue the adoption of a child who was in care at our foster center. If you are interested in giving to this adoption fund you can give online here by noting that the gift is for the Foster Center Adoption Fund in the comments.
Thank you for your prayers and advocacy for these children! Though we are burdened, we are hopeful and trusting God’s plan for their lives and futures. We will continue to keep you updated as we have more information. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact us at [email protected] or call (205) 967-0811. If you are an adoptive family in process, your social worker will be glad to talk with you about any questions or concerns you may have.