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September 23, 2017

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Ministry denies spending big to place abandoned foreign children

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Labor on Thursday denied an online rumor that it spends NT$2 billion (US$66 million) annually to subsidize the placement of 8,000 children abandoned by migrant workers using the Employment Stability Fund.

To refute the erroneous claim which has been reported on local television, the ministry provided a detailed explanation of the situation in the Legislative Yuan and also posted four online items to clarify the issue.

Citing data provided by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Labor indicated that about 45 children of migrant workers have required out-of-home placement since 2007 and total expenditure on such services is estimated to be NT$5.51 million.

The ministry is responsible for resolving the placement of abandoned children in collaboration with social services in accordance with regulations governing the Employment Stability Fund, officials said.

To qualify for such subsidies, children must be born to migrant workers, with at least one legally working in Taiwan according to the Employment Services Act and the whereabouts of those parents unknown. Children being cared for by their parents or third parties arranged by their parents are not eligible, according to the ministry.

The ministry also noted that it generally seeks assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to locate the parents of children born to foreign nationals when they are under three months old, after which age if their birth parents cannot be found they are put up for adoption with most adopted before they reach three years old.

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