BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday issued its first guideline to strengthen the work of protecting and supporting de facto orphans.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs announced the guideline, jointly issued by 12 government agencies, at a press conference.
According to the guideline, de facto orphans are children whose parents are under one of the following conditions: severe disabilities or illness, serving sentences in jail or under detention, in compulsory isolation for drug rehabilitation or restriction of personal freedom, or cannot be contacted.
If only one of a child's parents is under the aforementioned conditions and the other parent is dead or missing, the child can be identified as a de facto orphan.
Official datas show China now has around 500,000 de facto orphans.
The guideline also regulates the specific procedures for identifying de facto orphans.