The one-child policy was enacted in 1979 in China. The policy intends to help the country improve their social, economic, and environmental problems over time. As a result of the policy, families are only allowed to have one child. In addition, boy children are usually preferred over girl children. Traditional Chinese families believe that boys are important to carry on the family name through the bloodline. Boys are also able to provide the majority of the work for the family especially in the rural areas where families are very poor. As a result of the policy, many second-born children become orphans and many of the orphans are girls.
Furthermore, poor rural Chinese families often cannot afford health care if their child is born disabled or has a deformity. The children are usually abandoned and end up in orphanages as a result. It is reported that 98% of China's orphans are disabled. Even in orphanages, orphan and disabled children face abuse, neglect, and unequal opportunities their entire lives. They face the lack of family support and proper guidance as they grow up. Their living conditions remain harsh. As they ‘age out’ of their orphanages and become young adults, they are unable to find substantial ways to find employment, opportunities to generate income, and the ability to learn upon their limited education. From the absence of direction and guidance, many of the orphans and disabled individuals resort to homelessness, prostitution, and assisted welfare-living. Viable income, mentorship, and having the opportunity to grow as individuals are some of the greatest needs of their community.