Adoption Update

The most up-to-date adoption news


The China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) has issued the following new regulations for foreigners who wish to adopt children in China. These regulations become effective for all application received after May 1, 2007.

Adoption is limited to married couples, made up of a man and a woman, who fit the following criteria:

  1. They must have been married at least two years. If either person has previously divorced, the couple must have been married at least five years. No more than two divorces are allowed.
  2. Both partners must be between the ages of 30 and 50. Those couples who apply to adopt a special needs child must be between the ages of 30 and 55.
  3. Both partners must be physically and mentally fit, with none of the following conditions:a. AIDS;
    b. Mental disability;
    c. Infectious disease that is actively contagious;
    d. Blind in either eye;
    e. Hearing loss in both ears or loss of language function (those adopting children with hearing or language function loss are exempted from this requirement);
    f. Non-function or dysfunction of limbs or trunk caused by impairment, incomplete limbs, paralysis or deformation;
    g. Severe facial deformation;
    h. Severe diseases that require long-term treatment and that may affect life expectancy, including malignant tumors, lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy, etc;
    i. Major organ transplant within ten years;
    j. Schizophrenia;
    k. Severe mental disorders requiring medication for more than two years, including depression, mania, or anxiety neurosis;
    l. Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more
  4. At least one member of the couple must have stable employment. The total value of family assets must be at least $80,000. The family’s annual income equals at least $10,000 for each family member in the household (including the child to be adopted). Annual income excludes welfare, pensions, unemployment insurance, government subsidies and the like.
  5. Both prospective parents must be high school graduates or have vocational training equivalent to a high school education.
  6. The family must have fewer than five children under the age of 18, and the youngest is at least one year old (those adopting special needs children are exempted from this requirement).
  7. Neither partner may have a significant criminal record, and both must have a history of honorable behavior and good moral character with no evidence of:
    a. Domestic violence, sexual abuse, abandonment or abuse of children;
    b. Use of narcotics or any potentially addictive medication prescribed for mental illness;
    c. Alcohol abuse, unless the individual can show she/he has been sober for at least ten years. 

    Note: Applications from persons with past criminal records will be considered on a case-by-case basis if the individual has fewer than three minor criminal convictions (none in the last ten years) and fewer than five minor traffic violations.

  8. The prospective parents must demonstrate the ability to provide a warm family environment capable of meeting the needs of an orphaned child and providing for her/his development, and an understanding of the special risks (including potential diseases, developmental delays, and post-placement maladjustment) that could come with inter-country adoption.
  9. The couple 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.Note: In each instance above where a specific age or time span is cited, it will be computed from the time that the CCAA officially logs the adoption application documents.

(All information taken from the U.S. Department of State website)

January 23, 2009

The China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) has proposed and the Department of State has agreed that beginning January 1, 2009, all adoption cases between the U.S. and China will be processed by China as Hague Inter-country Adoption Convention cases.  The Department of State has received assurances that under the new process, transition cases (as defined by the Inter-country Adoption Act), will not be negatively affected.  CCAA has assured us that even though they officially consider all adoption cases to be Convention cases as of January 1, the actual process for transition cases will not significantly change.  Under the new process, as of January 1, 2009, CCAA will send out the same documents for all cases (transition cases and Convention cases).  These documents will include the “Letter of Seeking Confirmation from the Adopter” and the “Letter of Seeking Confirmation from the U.S. Central Authority” at the time the referral is sent.  For transition cases, families will continue to sign and return the “Letter of Seeking Confirmation from the Adopter” but no action is required on the “Letter of Seeking Confirmation from the U.S. Central Authority.”    

The new procedures required by China will not conflict with U.S. policies and procedures for Hague Adoption Convention visa processing.  For cases in which 
I-800A’s are filed after April 1, 2008, China now requires a “Letter of Seeking Confirmation from the Adopter,” which must be signed by the petitioners and returned to CCAA, and a “Letter of Seeking Confirmation from the U.S. Central Authority.”  U.S. Consulate Guangzhou will sign and return this second letter to CCAA after they have received and reviewed the petitioner’s visa application (DS-230) and their provisionally approved I-800.  In Convention cases prospective adoptive parents will receive notice to travel and finalize the adoption from CCAA only after CCAA receives the two “Letters of Seeking Confirmation.”  As with the transition process, in order to prevent unpredictable length of stays in China, prospective adoptive parents should not travel until they have received notice to travel from CCAA to finalize the adoption, and confirmation from the U.S. Consulate Guangzhou that their visa interview has been scheduled.

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