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Building Your Family: Getting Started in China Adoption

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China Adoption

China Fast Facts:

  • 2012 Adoptions: 2,697 children
  • Hague Accredited: Yes
  • Profile of Children: 56% of children are one to two years old. 73% are girls (2011). Children up to age 13 can be adopted.
  • Estimated Total Cost: $15,000 to $25,000 (see sample China adoption budget).
  • Parents' Ages: Both adopting parents must be between 30 and 50 years old; couples 30 to 55 may be considered for special-needs children.
  • 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. Gay and lesbian couples cannot adopt. Parents cannot have more than five children under the age of 18 (with exemption for special-needs adoption). Both parents must have H.S. diploma or vocational training. Single women may adopt special-needs children.
  • Travel: At least one parent must travel to China to adopt.
  • Timeline: For healthy children, approximately four and a half 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.

China Adoption Directory

Find an adoption agency placing children from China in your state:


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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. Prospective parents work through U.S. agencies approved by the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (formally the China Center of Adopt ion Affairs).

For more information, visit www.adoption.state.gov.

Personal Stories About Chinese Adoption

Helpful Books for China Adopters