Starfish Foster Home provides a loving home environment for disabled orphans in China. It was established in 2005 in Xi'an, China, then later moved to South East China. Our mission is to provide Chinese orphans who have special health needs the medical care required to live a full and rewarding life. The medical/health issues include, but are not limited to, spina bifida, cleft lip/palate and cardiovascular issues. In addition to the life-saving surgeries we facilitate for each child, all of our children have access to well- baby care, a regimented nutritional plan, vaccinations/immunizations, etc. All of our efforts are pointed to placing each child into the Chinese adoption process and to someday become part of a loving "Forever Family".
Starfish partners with both local and provincial government officials and a local foster care network to ensure that our services are made available to as many eligible children as possible. Our singular success metric is the number of lives saved. To date, Starfish has rescued 169 children, facilitated 250+ surgeries and over 100 of our kids have been adopted.
All of the care and services are provided at our foster home in Southeast China. The children live here and are with us until the day they are adopted. Jet Tjarks is the Executive Director and she is responsible for the “24/7”operations of the foster home. Jet manages all of our full-time nannies and is supported by several experienced assistants. Originally from the Netherlands, Jet’s entire family lives at Starfish and are all deeply involved in its success. Jet’s husband Henk serves as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Starfish, while their two children provide role models and sibling interaction for the babies. Both of their children were adopted from China, and feel right at home in their native land. One of their children, Nora, is a Starfish baby.
We'd love for you to stop by and join our "Starfish Family" anytime. Volunteers play a critical role in the ongoing success of our mission. We have an ongoing need for long term volunteers (30+ days) as well as those experienced in pediatrics and nursing. If this is of interest please visit the "You Can Help" and "Volunteering" pages on our website.
Our efforts are supported by the generous donations of individuals and several corporate foundations. The board of directors is 100% volunteer staffed with all directors encouraged to make annual cash donations and/or gifts-in-kind.