Adopting healthy children from China has become more difficult in recent years because of increased parental restrictions on marital status, health, education, and income. As a result, many more families in the U.S. have been adopting older children, sibling groups, or children with medical conditions (often correctable) through China’s Waiting Child Program. These adoptions are often processed at a much faster rate.
China is party to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, so prospective parents must work through an agency that is both Hague-accredited in the U.S. and approved by the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA; formerly the China Center of Adoption Affairs). The adoption application fee charged by the CCCWA is now $1,050.
For more up-to-date information on how to adopt from China, visit the China Adoption page on the U.S. State Department’s website. Get parent-to-parent advice and support in the China Adoptive Families group in our online community, Adoptive Families Circle.
China Adoption Fast Facts
- 2017 Adoptions: 1,905 children
- Hague Country: Yes
- Profile of Children: Children up to age 13 can be adopted. 67% of children are between 1 and 4 years old. 50% of children are girls. (2017)
- Median Total Cost: $15,825 (see China adoption cost breakdown)
- Parents’ Ages: Parents must be between ages 30 and 50. Couples in which one parent is over 50 years old will be considered; however, the younger parent must be no more than 50 years older than the child they wish to adopt. For special needs adoption, parents can be between ages 30 and 55.
- Family Requirements: Adoptive parents must be married at least two years, or five years if there has been a previous divorce. Parents cannot have more than two divorces between them. Both parents must have H.S. diploma or vocational training. Several specific income and health restrictions apply. Single women must not be more than 45 years older than the child they wish to adopt. Same-sex couples may not adopt.
- Travel: At least one parent must travel to China to adopt.
- Timeline for China Adoption: For healthy children, approximately five years from completion of dossier to referral. The wait time is considerably shorter for special-needs children.
- Route: Adopt through a US Hague-compliant adoption agency approved by the CCCWA.
Personal Stories About Chinese Adoption
- “The China Doll”: A three-year-old Chinese daughter attracts hordes of admirers.
- “Two Adoptees on Going ‘Home’ to China”: A birth country visit told by two people.
Helpful Books About China Adoption
- Lost Daughters of China: Abandoned Girls, Their Journey to America and the Search for a Missing Past
- Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son by Kay Ann Johnson
- Wish You Happy Forever by Jenny Bowen
- A Passage to the Heart: Writings from Families with Children from China by Amy Klatzkin
- When You Were Born in China: A Memory Book for Children Adopted from China by Sara K. Dorow
- An Empty Lap: One Couple’s Journey to Parenthood by Jill Smolowe
- The Waiting Child by Cindy Champnella
Best Web Resources for China Adopters
- U.S. Department of State – International Adoption from China
- Families with Children from China Greater New York (FCCNY) – or search for the closest FCC chapter near you
- China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption
- China Adoptive Families Group on adoptivefamiliescircle.com
- Email listservs: Raising China Children, Adoptive Parents China, Post-Adopt-China, and Waiting Children China