There are an increasing number of abandoned children awaiting help in China, said Deng Zhixin, a co-founder of Angel Mom, a grassroots organization in Beijing that helps orphans access medical treatment.
"All the children sent to us have health problems to a certain extent," Deng said. "For those with incurable problems, it is hard to find a family to adopt them."
Children with non-terminal illnesses encounter a slightly better situation. With the help of Angel Mom, more than 50 children have been adopted, but there are 42 still waiting for medical treatment and foster families.
Deng said the pressure of adopting and raising a sick child is huge - mentally, physically and financially.
The organization is still struggling to be awarded legal status and currently operates as an affiliate of the China Charities Aid Foundation for Children. However, Deng wants Angel Mom to be an independent, non-governmental organization, approved by the civil administration department.
People are often suspicious of unregistered grassroots organizations, and Deng said their work would be much easier if they could register with the local government. That would ensure help for more children.
Unlike Yuan Lihai's makeshift orphanage, Deng said Angel Mom gains funding through the foundation and is better organized.
Nothing is more important than the children's safety, she said. In the organization's temporary foster center, even the water dispenser is kept away from the children to reduce the risk of them being injured by boiling water.
"If the Lankao tragedy happened in our foster home, we would be shut down and unable to help any more children," she said.
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