Completing an Adoption from China

  • 01 of 08

    Chinese Adoption Requirements

    Gotcha Day
    In the playroom at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou Guangdong Province with Sydney. Permission to use photo given by David and Susan.

    China is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention, which means any adoption from China needs to not only meet the requirements of the convention, but also the state that the prospective adoptive parent resides within the United States.

    Some of the Chinese Adoption Requirements include:

    • Marriage - Only married couples, with marriage defined as between a man and a woman, who have been married for at least 2 years are able to adopt from China. If either has been divorced, the couple must be married...MORE for 5 years before considering adopting from China. No more than two divorces are allowed.

    • Age - Prospective adoptive parents must be between the ages of 30 and 44 years old to adopt babies around 1 year old. Prospective adoptive parents can be between the ages of 30 and 50 for other childrena and up to age 55 will be consider for special needs children.

    • Weight - Prospective adoptive parents must have a Body Mass Index, a measure of obesity, of no more than 40.

    • Health - Prospective parents must not be taking medications for psychiatric conditions including depression or anxiety.

    • Appearance & Abilities - Adoptive parents with a "severe facial deformity" will not be considered. Prospective parents who are wheelchair dependent will not be considered.

    • Single Woman Adoption - As of March 15, 2011, the China Center for Children Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA), (formerly the China Center of Adoption Affairs), states that single women may now adopt from China. Single women will be allowed to adopt what the CCCWA calls 'Special Focus' children.

      Special Focus children have special needs or are pre-school or school age and have been on a waiting list for more than 60 days. Special Focus may also mean that a child does not have a special need, but is older and has been on the waiting list for more than 60 days.

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  • 05 of 08

    Chinese Children that Are Waiting for Adoptive Homes

    Referral for Emily.
    Baby Emily's referral photo. Photo used with permission. Parents - David and Susan.
    • Ages - Children up to and including the age of 13 can be adopted. Children 14 and older may not be adopted.

    • Special Needs Children - If prospective adoptive parents decide to adopt a special needs child or one with a medical condition after reading the adoption referral, they have 48 hours to fill out the necessary adoption paperwork for their dossier. This tight deadline is in the best interest of the child, allowing the child to be removed from the listing of special needs children awaiting an...MORE adoptive home for a very short period of time. If the family does not file the adoption paperwork within the 48 hours, the child is placed back on the listing.

    • Finalization - Once the parents have the CCAA's sealed adoption approval notice they can proceed to finalize the adoption or gain custody of the child for purpose of adoption in China.

    • Placement priority - Because China is a party of the Hague Convention, China must try to place their waiting children in Chinese adoptive homes first.

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  • 06 of 08

    Finalizing the Adoption in China

    Referral for Sydney
    Referral photo of baby Sydney. Photo used with permission. Parents - David and Susan

    Travel - One parent must travel to China for approximately a two-week stay. If only one parent is traveling to China, he or she is required to have power of attorney authenticated by the Chinese Embassy or one of the Chinese Consulates General in the U.S. During this time the adoption in China is completed and the child obtains a passport, medical examination, and a visa. The physician completing the examination must be approved of by the U.S. embassy or consulate.

    Adoption Fees - Be prepared to...MORE pay adoption fees charged by the Chinese authorities. These fees go toward such items as - authentication of documents, translations, service fees, and issuance of the Chinese-notarized certificate approving the adoption in China, and birth certificate. It is also customary for the institution that cared for your child prior to adoption to charge a fee for the cost of raising the child in China. Be prepared for a cost of $3000 to $5000 USD. Check the adoption services contract that you signed at the beginning of the adoption process. There should be an itemized listing of expenses related to adoption costs.

    Adoption Costs

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  • 07 of 08

    Bringing Your Newly Adopted Child Home After Completing a Chinese Adoption

    Great Wall of China
    At the Great Wall of China. Photo used with Permission. David and Susan

    There are some final steps left to complete a Chinese adoption while still in China before you can bring your child home.

    • Apply for a new birth certificate so that you can later apply for a passport.
    • Then secure a Chinese passport and exit permit.
    • A U.S. immigrant visa will be needed so that your child can enter the U.S. as a citizen or lawful permanent resident. After obtaining the birth certificate and passport you will need to apply for a U.S. visa from the U.S. embassy. After the Chinese...MORE adoption is granted, visit the Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-800 petition and to get a visa for your child.

    Learn more about the visa process.

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  • 08 of 08

    A New Family After Adopting a Child from China

    New Family
    Happy to be home, proud parents hug - Emily, Sydney, and birth daughter Isabel. Permission to use photo given by David and Susan.

    Congratulations you are a new family!

    You may have to re-adopt your child here in the states as a precautionary measure since a U.S. court does not have to accept the adoption of a foreign court. In some instances a re-adoption is required. Ask your adoption agency for more information.

    Announce that you have completed adopting a child from China with adoption announcements and a welcome home party!

    Several Options Are Available for Adoption Announcements
    What Is an Adoption Welcome Party
    Hosting an...MORE Adoption Baby Shower