Chinese couple adopt more than 40 homeless children in 26 years

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A couple in China's Shanxi province has adopted more than 40 homeless children, most of whom were abandoned by their parents because of disabilities.

Chen Tianwen and his wife, Guo Gairan, both in their 60s, live in Zhuangxi village of Yuanping city.

They adopted their first child in 1989. In the following years, the local Civil Affairs Bureau kept sending abandoned babies to the couple for adoption because there were no local welfare institutions back then.

The couple never said no. They also picked up abandoned babies on the streets.

As the number of children increased, Chen was forced to quit his job at a fertiliser plant to help his wife at home. Their main income came from subsidies from the local government - 150 yuan (S$33) for each adopted child.

In 2012, the story of the warm-hearted couple was made into a documentary named Fading Flowers, which was awarded Best Documentary and Grand Shot during that year's Shanghai International Film Festival.

As word spread about the family, more people and institutes offered help.

The local government raised the subsidy to 1,000 yuan per child each month.

With the help of volunteers, the couple bought a larger house and five of the disabled children of the couple have recovered after treatment.