Foreigners wishing to legally adopt an Indonesian child face many hurdles, not least the requirement that couples must have been resident in Indonesia for a continuous period of two years. The stringent conditions for adoption explain why the average number per year is no more than 20. This contrasts starkly with China, where parents can fly in to collect their adopted children. By one estimate, about 50,000 Chinese babies have been adopted by American couples since a bilateral pact was signed in 1992. Another barrier is religion: Indonesia requires parents to have the same religion as the child they wish to adopt. Since the majority are born to Muslim mothers, this creates a problem for non-Muslim couples, although officials note that the religion of abandoned babies is less fixed. Once adoptions are approved by the Ministry of Social Affairs, parents must remain in the country for at least six months to allow for follow-up visits by social workers. Only two foundations in Jakarta are authorised to process the paperwork that legalises the final adoption. In practice, most children that fall into the hands of the state are placed with Indonesian families, often through informal channels. Officials are often sceptical about foreign adoptions. 'This is the last resort,' says Afrinaldi, a child welfare official with the Ministry of Social Affairs. 'As long as we have Indonesian couples willing to adopt, that's preferable.'