Adoption and the Shepherd's Field orphanage

Mark Graham

The Shepherd's Field orphanage aims to give orphans with special needs a second chance in life.

Children at the centre, outside Beijing, come from orphanages all over China and usually need complicated medical treatment.

Wherever possible, the orphanage pays for specialist operations that give the children a fighting chance of leading a normal life. The youngsters are then put up for adoption overseas with families that fit the criteria laid down by the orphanage and the Chinese government.

Shepherd's Field is run by Tim and Pam Baker, who themselves have adopted four Chinese children. They arrived in China almost 20 years ago to teach English, initially volunteering at orphanages. They later founded the Philip Hayden Foundation, named after a friend who had died at the age of 28.

Each child needs 15 sponsors paying US$35 a month to cover the cost of their care, including feeding, clothing and medical treatment, along with funding for the network of support staff such as nurses, cleaners, cooks and drivers. Each of the foreign workers there - including doctors Ana and Bill Moody - raise funds overseas.

Shepherd's Field has expanded and now has five homes that can accommodate about 100 orphans, a clinic, a school, playground and guest quarters for volunteers.