China Adoption Facts

ACRONYMS/TERMS of a CHINESE ADOPTION:  Adoption is no different than education–full of acronyms!

  • CCCWA =The Chinese Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption; Chinese governing body that oversees the adoption process in China; offices are located in Beijing, China.
  • USCIS = Citizenship and Immigration Services; department within Homeland Security that is responsible for issuing approvals that permit families to bring their adopted child into the U.S. from their country of origin
  • NBC = National Benefits Center; centralized processing office; a branch of CIS that processes all I 800
  • NCFA = National Council for Adoption
  • I 800A = Application that families file with CIS in order to be approved to adopt internationally; I 800A is for Hague Countries
  • Hague = collective of regulations and standards agreed to by various countries around the world, which standardizes the level of care, concern and ethics involved in international adoption. The United States and China are Hague countries.
  • Dossier = Pronounced “doos-ee-ay”; a collection of approximately 13 documents submitted to the CCCWA for permission to adopt a child from China.
  • OOT = Out of translation
  • DTC = Dossier to China; the date your dossier is sent to China. It takes approximately 3 business days for documents to reach China and approximately 2-4 weeks to receive your LID.
  • LID = Log In Date
  • LOI = Letter of Intent
  • LOA = Letter of Approval
  • TA = Travel Approved


  • U.S. Adoptions from China have increased from around 200 in 1992 to 3001 in 2009 and has been considered the most popular country to adopt from by professionals for some years.
  • China recognized the adoption process with the creation of the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) in 1996. The reorganization allowed them to streamline and computerize their processes.
  • Although there have been political tensions at carious times between China and the U.S., these tensions have not impacted the adoption process. The Chinese continue to be committed to international adoption.


  • Parents must be between the ages of 30 and 50 years old (55 years old for special focus (SF) adoptions)
  • Couples must be married for at least two years. In the case of couples with previous marriages, the current marriage must have reached the 5 year mark.
  • No more than two previous marriages per spouse.
  • At least a net worth of $80,000.
  • Income requirement: $10,000 for every member of the family, including the prospective adoptee.
  • Body mass index (BMI) of no more than 40.
  • No psychotropic medications within the last two years.
  • Families must have no more than four children currently living in the home. Some exceptions can be made in the case of a special needs (SN) adoption.
  • Youngest child must be older than one year old.


  • China is divided into Provinces.
  • Each province has its own adoption officials.
  • Adoptive parents meet with the provincial officials in the province of the child’s orphanage.
  • Local officials provide the following document in Chinese and English: child’s birth certificate, certificate of abandonment, certificate of adoption, and Chinese passport.
  • The adoption is final in the province and is recognized in full faith by the United States Government. If both parents travel to China, citizenship is finalized upon the family’s return to the United States.



  • In order to control the population growth, China implemented a “one-child policy” which has resulted in children being abandoned. China does not allow families to place children up for adoption, so if a family cannot care for a child they may have no choice but to abandon the child in a place where the baby will hopefully be found quickly and placed in an orphanage.
  • The children available for adoption from China are abandoned with no identifiable blood relatives. The CCCWA matches the children with adoptive parents.
  • Children with special needs are usually between the ages of one and fourteen.
  • The children receive a medical evaluation at the orphanage.


  • Adoptive parents must ravel to China to adopt their child. In the case of a married couple, only one parent is required to travel but the process is easier if both parents travel.
  • The trip is typically made with a group of other adoptive families.
  • A bilingual Lifeline representative in China will help the adoptive parents while in China.
  • The length of stay in China is from 10-14 days; 5 days in the province (where the child’s orphanage is located) and 5 days in Guangzhou (where the U.S. consulate is located).
  • Accommodations in China are western-style hotel rooms with amenities similar to those found in the United States. Rooms usually have a safe, small refrigerator and a hot-pot. Most hotels will also provide internet access for a small charge.
  • Immunizations are not required for travel to China. However, this is something that should be discussed with a doctor or local health department. Many families choose to have the Hep B series and an updated tetanus shot prior to travel.
  • Although the adoption is final in China, the child remains a Chinese citizen until the completion of immigration paperwork at the U.S. Consolate in Guangzhou, China. This consists of an interview, paperwork, and the issuance of a visa. The visa authorizes the child’s travel to the U.S.)

**Information above is provided by Lifeline Children’s Services, which is the agency we are working with for our adoption.