Application: 1 week
Please complete the formal application and mail it to AAC along with the application fee and Agency Adoption Processing Fee Phase 1. If you have identified the child you would like to adopt the application and fees must be submitted to AAC within one week from receiving Initial Approval.
Dossier Process: 2-6 months (concurrent with homestudy)
Please complete the remaining paperwork in the formal packet and collect your additional Dossier documents. Send the documents to AAC along with the Dossier Process Fees. If you have already identified the child you wish to adopt, these documents must be completed and returned to AAC within two months of receiving initial approval. AAC will then have each of your documents certified by the appropriate county/ state office and authenticated by the Chinese Consulate.
Home Study: 2~4 months (concurrent with dossier)
Colorado Families- All applicants who reside in Colorado must have their homestudy completed by AAC. Homestudy fees are due at the time of application. All documents in the formal packet and homestudy packet must be submitted to AAC before meetings can begin with your social worker.
Out-of-state families- All applicants residing in states other than Colorado are responsible for obtaining a homestudy through a Hague Accredited agency in your area. Families must send the interagency agreement included in the formal packet to the homestudy agency they choose. You will also need to send the Homestudy Agency Contact Info sheet to AAC.
If you have already identified the child you wish to adopt, the completed home study must be submitted to AAC within 3 months of receiving initial approval from CCCWA.
USCIS- Immigration Approval (part 1): 12-14weeks
Upon receiving your completed home study, AAC will prepare and file your I-800a with USCIS for immigration purposes. A few weeks after submission of your I-800a application, USCIS will mail you a fingerprint appointment notice. Please take the appointment notice to the designated location on the designated date and time to have your fingerprints processed. Several weeks later, you will receive your approval notice in the mail. This is the last document needed for your Dossier. Please email or fax this notice to AAC immediately. Once all documents, including your I-800a approval have been certified and authenticated, your dossier will be sent to China
Child Match: varies
There are several ways to be matched with a child through AAC.
- Complete the above outlined steps (application, homestudy, and dossier)and then begin reviewing children’s files. Files will be given to you for review based on a checklist that you have completed. If the child is listed on the shared list, you will only have 72 hours to discuss the file with your physician and make a decision. If the child is a participant in our “Jiangxi Program” or “Special Focus Program” you will have 2 weeks. Please note that many children’s files must be matched with a family whose dossier has been Logged In with CCCWA. Choosing this route gives you many more options. However, if a child matching your criteria comes available during your paperwork process (and that child’s file is able to be matched with “in process” families) AAC will present that child’s file for your review. AAC will give priority to families according to where they are in the process.
- Identify a Waiting Child listed on AAC’s website. After thoroughly reviewing the child’s file with a physician and deciding that you would like to move forward, AAC will email you the “Initial Approval Forms”. These forms must be completed and returned to AAC along with the application and Phase 1 Adoption Processing fees within one week of placing the child’s file on hold. AAC will then translate your information and submit it to China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption. Once you receive Initial Approval from CCCWA you must complete your homestudy, immigration process, and dossier within 6 months.
Child Assignment: 2-4 months
Two to Four months after your dossier is logged-in with CCCWA and you have been matched with a child, CCCWA will send the Letter Seeking Confirmation (LOA) to AAC. AAC will then prepare your “Assignment” paperwork that will officially match you with your child. Colorado families may come to the AAC office to sign the required documents. For out-of-state families, we will mail this packet to you overnight. The packet will contain the following:
- The LOA from CCCWA
- AAC’s Legal paperwork for you to officially accept the child
- Statement outlining fees that are due at this time
- Completed I-800 application for you to proofread and sign
- Completed I-864-W for you to proofread and sign
- DS-260 Questionnaire form for you to complete
- Power of Attorney (if you plan for only one parent to travel)
- Visa Instructions
- Travel Packet (Information for you to read about your trip to China)
The packet will come with detailed instructions. Please follow the instructions, sign, notarize and return these documents to AAC as soon as possible. At this time the Phase Two fees, Facilitator fees, Special Donation, Post Adoption fees, Child Visa fee and Visa fees are due. Any grant awards will be applied to these fees.
At this time AAC will put you in contact with our In-China facilitator, Judy, to begin tentatively planning your travel. You may talk with her about what hotels you can stay at, visiting your child’s orphanage, tours of interest, etc. Please respect her time and work and allow her ample time to reply to your emails. When emailing Judy, please CC your case worker.
Your Assignment packet will also contain instructions on how to apply for a Chinese Visa (allowing you to enter China). This should be done within the next few weeks. AAC is always available to assist you with this process if needed.
USCIS- Immigration Approval (part 2 ): 2-4 weeks
When AAC receives the acceptance paperwork back from you, we will file your I-800 application with USCIS. This is different from your previously filed I-800a. Your I-800a approved you as a family. Your I-800 will approve the specific child that you will adopt. It is very important that AAC does the filing on your behalf as there are many certified legal documents that have to be submitted with your application. When your application has been processed, USCIS will send your approval to you in the mail. Please contact AAC when you receive this to make sure that we have received a copy. If AAC has not received a copy from USCIS, you will need to fax or email us a copy.
National Visa Center (NVC) Process: 2-3 weeks
Once your I-800 has been approved, USCIS will send your paperwork to the NVC. After they have processed your case, they will forward your paperwork to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou. You will receive a confirmation of this in the mail. Please email or fax a copy of this to AAC. We must have a copy of this before we can proceed. This form will include two things: GUZ# and Invoice ID. Both are needed for your case worker to file the DS-260 online.
US Consulate Process: 2 weeks
Once AAC receives your NVC letter and finishes your DS-260 application, we will send your paperwork to our facilitator in Guangzhou. She will hand deliver your documents to the U.S. Consulate. Drop-off days are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. It will take the Consulate 2 weeks to process your paperwork. The facilitator will then pick up your documents and send them to CCCWA. We will then await your Travel Approval (TA)
Invitation to Travel and Planning: 2-3 weeks
After your paperwork has been sent to CCCWA, it will take approximately 2-3 weeks to receive TA. This will be sent to AAC. We will call you when it arrives and begin to make travel arrangements. You will need to let AAC know when you would like to leave for China. We will then request a Consulate Appointment accordingly. We ask that you do not make any flight arrangements until the Consulate Appointment has been confirmed, as there is no guarantee that we will get the date we request. It is the responsibility of the family to book your international flights. AAC will assist you with any in-country travel. After you have booked your flight, please remember to email a copy of your itinerary to AAC and our facilitator, Judy. Judy will make your hotel reservations and arrange any adoption related appointments. She is also there to assist you with any tours of interest.
Travel and Completion of Adoption: 2 weeks
When you arrive in China, your guide will meet you at the airport. During your 2 week stay in China your guide will assist you with any adoption related appointments/paperwork. Your guide is also available to accompany you on any tours of interest, orphanage visits, shopping, etc.
The first week will be spent in your child’s province. You will typically receive your child on a Monday at the local provincial office or your hotel. You and your child will then return to the hotel to spend some time getting to know each other. After you have spent 24 hours with the child, you will return to the provincial office to complete your adoption. The rest of the week will be spent exploring your child’s homeland with him or her while you wait for your child’s passport to be completed
The second week will be spent in Guangzhou, Guangdong. This is where the US Consulate is located and all adoptive families must travel there to complete the immigration process. While in Guangzhou your child will undergo a physical exam including a TB test (if over 2 years of age). After taking an oath at the US Consulate office your child will be issued a visa allowing him or her to become a citizen upon entering the US.
Validation of Foreign Adoption in a US court
Colorado Families- After you arrive home with your new child, AAC will prepare and file the necessary documents with the local court in order to validate your foreign adoption. This will enable you to obtain a US birth certificate.
Out-of-state families- Please contact your homestudy agency to inquire how to accomplish this in your state. Once complete, please send two certified copies of your Validation Decree to AAC.
Post-Adoption: 5 Years
The first few years after the placement of an adopted child are very important for the adjustment of the child and family. In order to ensure the smooth integration of adopted children into their families, CCCWA requires that social workers continue to visit adoptive families for a period of 2 years after the adoption of a child. Three reports will need to be done by your social worker and six reports will need to be done by the family during the five years following the adoption of your child. The reports are due at the following times:
- Six months post-adoption – Social Worker and Family Reports
- One year post-adoption-Social Worker and Family Reports
- Two years post- adoption- Social Worker and Family Reports
- Three years post- adoption- Family Report
- Four years post- adoption- Family Report
- Five years post-adoption- Family Report
Please see “Post Adoption Regulations/Agreement” for further details regarding these reports.