Who can adopt from China?
Check the page of China Adoption Requirement updates as of May 2007.
What children are available for adoption?
Children of all ages are available for adoption. The majority of healthy babies are girls although boys are available. The average age of infants at placement is 8 to 15 months. Older children are available if requested. Special needs children are also available. Please view our "Waiting Children".
Can we adopt more than one child at the same time?
Unrelated children are not available for adoption at the same time. Because children in China are abandoned, siblings are usually unknown with the exception of multiple births such as twins. Twins may be requested although receiving twins is rare. Adoptive parents who request twins should be prepared that they may receive only one child.
What can we expect from a child who has been in an orphanage?
Because there is a high ratio of children to a low ratio of caregivers, it is not uncommon for children in orphanage settings to have developmental delays. Most often after the child has been placed in a nurturing environment where his or her needs are continually met these delays are often short lived and the child will progress to normal development.
It is not uncommon for children raised in a group setting to have lice, scabies or other bug bites.
Children in a group setting often learn to self soothe. This can manifest in many ways such as moaning, head banging, or rocking back and forth. Your social worker can give you many resources in helping your child to overcome this.
What type of care do the children receive in China?
The majority of children available for adoption in China are housed in orphanages or social welfare institutes. The children seem to be well taken care of considering the limited amount of resources available. In some cases children are housed with foster families. Every attempt will be made to arrange meetings with adoptive families and caregivers.
What is the cost to adopt a child from China?
On average the cost is $19,000 to $23,000. The variation in price is based on unknown costs such as airfare, food and lodging prices at the time of travel. Some families choose to upgrade airline seating or hotel room accommodations, which would reflect the higher amounts. AAC makes every effort to keep costs to a minimum. To see an itemized fee schedule please click here.
In addition, families who adopt internationally will receive a tax credit of $11,390 per child in the year your adoption is finalized. This amount is subtracted from your tax liabilities. If you have other credits that outweigh your liabilities then the credit may be carried over for future tax benefits for up to five years. Household income limits do apply. For more information on the Adoption Tax Credit please check www.IRS.gov
Will we receive any history on our child's health?
Because children in China are abandoned it is impossible to know the family history of the child. However, all children upon intake to an orphanage or social welfare institute will receive and exam to determine his or her health status. Of course just as there are no guarantees with birth children, adopted children may be diagnosed with illnesses that were previously unknown.
In addition, the child will also receive immunizations and each family will be given an immunization record. Some families once home choose to immunize their child again since standards for immunizations vary from country to country. Check with your pediatrician for further information.
I'm single. Can I adopt from China?
No. Based on new regulations that went into effect in May 2007, single applicants are no longer accepted.
How will a child be chosen for us?
Your dossier and home study will include personal information such as your family personality traits, hobbies, religious beliefs, and what qualities you are hoping for in a child. In addition several photos will be requested. Your child will also have his or her own dossier completed by the orphanage. All these items will be taken into account when being matched with your child. Physical characteristics are often matched based on the adoptive parent's features.
Can a person with an arrest record still adopt from China?
Yes. However it will depend on the charge, conviction and time passed since the arrest took place. An FBI background check is required for all adoptive parents. All criminal history must be disclosed to AAC. Any attempt to avoid disclosure to AAC will result in termination of the adoption application. For further clarification please click here to read the requirements to adopt from China.
How long does it take to adopt a child from China?
Currently it takes approximately 24-30 months from the time your application is accepted until travel to China to pick your child up. This time frame can lengthen or shorten depending on the China government's timeframe in processing paper work. The process is divided into 5 phases.
- The Paper chase: This is the time frame that you will submit your application and begin to gather the necessary documents for your dossier. This will also include state mandated parenting classes and your home study. This part of the process takes approximately 3-5 months depending on how quickly families can gather the needed information.
- Dossier Review, Certification, and Authenticating: Once your documents are gathered, AAC will send your documents to the Secretary of State to have your dossier certified. Following certification your dossier is then sent to the Chinese Consulate to have your documents authenticated. The average timeline to complete this phase is 8-10 weeks for the Group.
- Dossier sent, logged in, and wait to match: The date of sending is called DTC. Once received in China it takes approximately 2-4 weeks for your dossier to get logged in. You then will be given an exact log in date otherwise known as LID. This date officially begins your wait to be matched with a child. Once you are logged in the wait time is determined by the government agency that oversees foreign adoptions. This agency is called the China Center of Adoption Affairs or CCAA and is located in Beijing, China. The current wait from LID to match is approximately 24-28 months. This time frame is updated monthly and families will be notified of major changes in wait times.
- Referral: When the CCAA matches all families with a particular log in date, you will then be notified of your referral or match with a child. Limited information such as the child's name, province residing, and estimated date of birth are given along with a photo of your child. At that time, you will sign a commitment to accept the child's referral and your signed paperwork will then be expedited back to China. More information will be available about your child once all paperwork is translated which is usually 2-7 days following your referral. It is not uncommon that the information given is a few months old at referral. AAC will make every effort to get updated information prior to traveling to China. Once the CCAA receives your acceptance you will need to wait for travel approval from Chinese government, this takes 3-4 weeks. Once travel approval is given, AAC will make the necessary appointments at government agencies that will be needed to finalize your adoption. Once these appointments are scheduled, travel arrangements will be made.
- Travel to finalize the adoption: Travel to China usually occurs about 4 -6 weeks following your referral. However because the time of travel is dependent on open appointments at government agencies in China, families should be prepared to travel at any time following their referral. Usually AAC arranges for families to receive their children within 24 hours after arriving in China. The official adoption typically takes place within 48 hours after arriving. Your child will also be sworn in as an American citizen and will become official once your child lands on American soil.
Does anyone travel with us to China?
Yes. AAC is fortunate to have our own China coordinator Morgan Zhao who will translate all of your documents once you have been matched with your child. He will personally travel with you to China to oversee all aspects of your child's adoption. Morgan was born and raised in China but has lived here in the United States for the past 14 years. He has a complete understanding of both cultures, which is helpful when dealing with two different government agencies. In addition, all families logged in at the same time with at our agency will travel together. Contact information for the travel group is given to each family once documents have been logged into China. AAC encourages families to meet and provide support for each other during the wait. The only exception is for those families adopting waiting children. In those instances families will have a coordinator meet them in China to help facilitate the adoption process.
What is a dossier?
A dossier is a compilation of documents gathered to give the Chinese government a blueprint of who you are. It includes but is not limited to birth certificates, marriage certificates, autobiographies, financial statements, health records, police and FBI clearance, photos, as well as your own letter of intent to adopt. Once these documents are gathered, AAC will send your documents to the Secretary of State to be certified. Following certification these documents then get sent to the Chinese embassy/Consulate to be authenticated. The AAC staff at no additional charge personally handles the process of getting your dossier certified and authenticated. This is a unique aspect of our agency.
What is a Home study?
A home study is a report done by a social worker that becomes part of your dossier. For China, four visits from your social worker are required. This will include individual interviews as well as interviews as a couple. If there are additional members of the family such as siblings, interviews will also be conducted with them. Your social worker will determine if your home is considered safe and acceptable to raise a child.
What happens if we get pregnant during our adoption process?
China requires that there be at least a one-year age difference between siblings. It is possible that the age of child referred may be older then requested in order to ensure this age difference. However, due to current wait times this may not be an issue. Each family situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Can we adopt from another country while waiting for our child from China?
It is possible but depends on the state you reside. Colorado does not allow more than one open home study so for that reason residence of Colorado are not allowed to have two concurrent adoptions. Check with your state officials to find out your options.