Only 12 of Sichuan’s 623 quake orphans have been legally adopted, with the others in the care of welfare homes, an official of the southwest Chinese province’s government said Tuesday.

All the adoptive parents were from the Chinese mainland, said Chen Kefu, vice director of the Provincial Civil Affairs Bureau.

As of last June, about 1,019 children had been classified as orphans, but some were later identified by parents or other relatives and taken home, according to Chen.

‘Some children were simply separated from their families and were later reunited,’ said the official.

Chen said most adoptive parents wished to remain anonymous.

Starting last December, each quake orphan has been receiving 600 yuan (about 88.23 U.S. dollars) monthly from the government. That stipend will continue to be paid until they are 18 years old.

The magnitude-8.0 quake that hit southwest China last May 12 killed more than 69,000 people. It also left nearly 18,000 missing, more than 374,000 injured and millions homeless.

Source: Xinhua