adoption from china
China is party to the Hague Convention.
Who Can Adopt
You must meet eligibility requirements in the United States as set by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as those of China.
China country requirements include:
- All singles and at least on parent of a married couple must travel to China with a power of attorney for the other parent (notarized and authenticated by one of the Chinese Embassies in the United States) to execute documents in person with the appropriate Chinese authorities.
- Parents must be between the ages of 30 and 50 for a healthy child and between 30 and 55 for a special needs child. Singles must be between the ages of 30 and 50. If over 50, the age difference between the parent and child can be no more than 45 years.
- Heterosexual couples and heterosexual single females may adopt, however, as of May 2011, female singles may adopt one special focus child listed on the Special Needs System of CCAA at a time, with at least a year between adoptions. One applicant can only adopt one special focus child at a time, with an interval of at least one year between adoptions.
- Married couples must be married for a minimum of 2 years. If a divorce, present marriage must be over 5 years. No more than 2 divorces per person. Marriage certificates, divorce certificates or spouse death certificates will be part of the dossier. Singles will need to provide a certificate of the single and “non-homosexual” status. Single females in a long standing heterosexual relationship may apply with the male household member, both meeting the couple requirements.
- Single or older applicants need to identify a guardian for the child.
- Applicants shall meet the physical and health requirements established by CCAA, including no use of narcotics or any potentially addictive medication prescribed for mental illness or alcohol abuse, unless the individual can show she/he has been sober for at least ten years.
- No significant criminal record, including domestic violence, sexual abuse, abandonment or abuse of children. Individuals with a past record, with less than 3 minor convictions in the last 10 years or less than 5 minor traffic violations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. All adults must be law abiding with good moral character and conduct.
- At least one adoptive parent must have stable employment with a household income of at least $10,000 for each family member in the household (including the child to be adopted), excluding welfare, pensions, unemployment insurance, and government subsidies. Family’s assets must total at least $80,000.
- Prospective adoptive parents must have a high school diploma or a vocational training equivalent to a high school education.
- For couples, there needs to be fewer than five children under the age of 18, with the youngest at least one year old. For single females, there needs to be fewer than two children under the age of 18, with the youngest at least 6 years of age.
- Applicants must demonstrate the ability to provide a safe family environment and meet the needs of a child, including an understanding of risks, developmental delays, identified and potential medical needs, and the adjustment course for an internationally adopted child. Singles must show experience in child care or care of a special needs child.
- Applicants must complete Adoptive Parent Training and Education specific to adopting from China, including awareness of Chinese culture and how to maintain the child’s connection to culture and heritage.
- Agreement to complete all China requirements, including a period of post-adoption reports required.
Who Can be Adopted
China makes every attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. Chinese law allows children up to and including 13 years of age.
In addition, the child must meet the US definition of an orphan.
Individual cases and circumstances affect the time frame and waiting period.
After a U.S adoption agency submits the prospective family’s paperwork to CCCWA, the current waiting period for a response is approximately 60 months for a healthy child, and 12 months for a special needs child.
A referral is then sent through the adoption agency to the family. Once the referral is accepted, there is a 4-9 week wait for final approval to travel to China.
There is a 2-3 week stay in China during which the adoption is finalized, after which, the child’s Chinese passport, exit permit and U.S. immigrant visa are Issued.
How to Adopt
Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt -USCIS Form I-800A.
CCCWA matches the application with a specific child and sends a letter of introduction about the child.
Acceptance or refusal of referral.
Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption USCIS Form I-800.
Child’s visa application (DS-260) to the U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou’s Adopted Children’s Immigrant Visa Unit (ACIVU).
United States notifies China’s adoption authority via the “Article 5” letter, that child is eligible to immigrate.
CCCWA issues “Travel Approval” CCCWA -Notice of Coming to China for Adoption.
Adoption agency submits immigrant visa appointment request.
Once confirmation of immigrant visa appointment, adoptive parents may travel to China.
Finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in China.
Obtain child’s birth certificate and passport.
Obtain U.S. immigrant visa from the United States Consulate General for your child.
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows the child to acquire American citizenship when they enter the United States as lawful permanent resident.
For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when an adoption decree is issued by a US court. Failure to obtain citizenship, may put your child’s status in jeopardy.
Complete post-adoption reports.
Adoptive Parents must provide an adoption application letter that makes clear the applicants’ willingness to allow post-placement follow-ups and provide post-placement reports as required.
U.S. Embassy in China
Address: No. 55 An Jia Lou road
Beijing, China 100600
Tel: (86-10) 8531-4000
Fax: (86-10) 8531-3300
Consulate General of the United States in Guangzhou
Adopted Children Immigrant Visa Unit
Mailing Address: #1 Shamian South Street
Guangzhou, P. R. C. 51033
Physical Address: 5th Floor, Tian Yu Garden (II phase), 136-142 Lin He Zhong Road, Tian He District, Guangzhou
Tel: 011-86-20-8121 8000; 011-86-20-8518 7653 (Direct Line)
Fax: 011-86-20-3884 4420
China’s Adoption Authority
The China Centre of Adoption Affairs (CCCWA)
103 Beiheyan St.
Tel: 86-10-6522-3102; 86-10-6513-0607
Ministry of Civil Affairs
No. 147 Beiheyan St.
Embassy of China
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
*China also has Consulates in Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY, and Houston, TX.
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).