China Adoption Policy
Requirements for Adoptees
In accordance with the provisions of the Adoption Law of the People's Republic of China, the following children under the age of 14 can be placed out as adoptees:
- Orphans bereaved of parents.
- Abandoned infants and children whose biological parents cannot be ascertained or found.
- Children whose biological parents are unable to rear them due to unusual difficulties.
Requirements for Adoptors
In accordance with the provisions set forth in the Adoption Law of the People's Republic of China, the adopters should meet simultaneously the following requirements:
- Childless, have neither biological children, nor any adopted children, nor step-children.
- The capacity of rearing and educating the adoptees, physically, intellectually, resourcefully and morally as well as the capacity of fulfilling parental obligations to their children.
- No mental or infectious diseases considered medically unfit for adoption. A key criterion is that applicants should have a Body Mass Index (BMI) a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women of less than 40.
- Thirty years old or above.
The applicant couple must be married for at least two years; and those who were earlier divorced should have been currently married for at least five years.
Where a person with spouse adopts a child, the husband or wife should get consent from the other to adopt the child in concert.
Where a spouseless male adopts a female child, the full years of age between the adopter and the adoptee should be over 40 years.
Orphans, disabled children or abandoned infants and children, who are raised in the social welfare institutes, and whose biological parents can not be ascertained or found, may be adopted irrespective of the restrictions that the adopter should be childless and adopt one child only.
At present there are 17 countries that have established cooperative relationship with China in inter-country adoption. These countries are: U.S.A., Canada, U.K., France, Spain, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Only citizens of these countries can adopt children from China through the following procedures:
I. Submission of Documents
The first step for foreigners to adopt a child in China is to submit adoption application and certifying documents through their government departments or adoption agencies authorized by governments. Documents required for adoption in China include:
- Inter-country adoption application letter.
- Birth Certificate.
- Marital status certificate.
- Occupation, income and financial status certificate.
- Physical examination certificate.
- Criminal/ Non-criminal record certificate.
- Home study report.
- Certificate certifying the approval of the inter-country adoption by the competent authority of the country where the adoption applicant resides.
- Copy of passport.
- Two bareheaded photos (two inches) and six family photos.
All the certificates except those required in item (ix) and (x) must be produced by the competent body in the resident country and authenticated by diplomatic organization of the resident country or agencies authorized by the diplomatic organization and notarized by the embassy or consulate of the People's Republic of China in that country.
CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) does not accept any adoption application documents submitted directly by individuals.
II. Registration of Documents
After receiving the adoption documents submitted by government or adoption agencies, CCAA will accept and register the application, provided that all the documents required for adoption are complete and valid and the service fees are paid. CCAA will inform the foreign governments or adoption agencies which have forwarded the documents about the registration information of the application.
III. Review and Match
After reviewing the adoption documents, CCAA will, considering the adoptive families’ wish, match a suitable child for those qualified families and transfer the information of the adoptee and the person who place the child for adoption to the foreign governments and adoptive families to seek their opinions on the referral.
IV. Issuing the Notice
After receiving the signed acceptance letter from the foreign government and adoptive family, CCAA will issue the Notice of Travelling to China for Adoption to the family through the foreign governments or adoption agencies. Meanwhile, CCAA will issue a Notice of Foreign-related Adoption to the adoption registration authority in the department of civil affairs of the province where the adoptee resides.
V. Traveling to China for Adoption
After receiving the Notice of Travelling to China for Adoption, both the husband and wife should, bearing the original copy of the notice, come to China and to the department of civil affairs of the province where the adoptee resides to go through the adoption registration formalities.
VI. Adoption Registration
Foreign adoptive families should fill the Registration Application Letter of Foreigners Coming to China for Adoption, and submit the adoption agreement signed between the adopters and the person placing the child for adoption, the original Notice of Travelling to China for Adoption issued by CCAA, passports and photos. The provincial departments of civil affairs will check the documents, go through registration formalities for eligible adopters, and issue the Adoption Registration Certificate and Certificate of Conformity of Inter-country Adoption. The adoption relationship is established as of the date of registration.
* What is CCAA?
CCAA is the China Center of Adoption Affairs, a unit of Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. It is responsible for all international adoptions and deals with all of the paperwork to and from adoption agencies outside of China.
* How many children can a foreigner adopt at one time?
Foreign adoption applicants can only adopt one child at a time in China (with the exception of the adoption of twins or the siblings living in the same welfare institute). Those foreign adopters who have already adopted one child and who wish to adopt a second Chinese child, may, in principle, do so only one year after the first adoption, by resubmitting adoptive applications and certified materials.
* Is there any age limit for foreign adoption applicants?
The CCAA first accepts and reviews adoption applications of foreign adopters, on the condition that both the husband and wife have reached the age of 30 years and are under 50, and then makes placement of adoptees with them. For adoption of special needs child, both of them should have reached the age of 30 and are under 55.
I updated this article on January 17, 2013
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