Chinese adoptions are becoming increasingly popular among American families today. In the last 10 years, more Americans have adopted internationally than in the previous 10 years. China was the top facilitator of international adoptions, with thousands of Chinese children finding homes in the United States every year.
The Chinese adoption process is rather clear, and well regulated, however there have been some major restructurings of adoption policies made, tightening some of the restrictions and requirements concerning who can adopt and what kind of children can be adopted. If you are interested in Chinese adoption there are some things you should know.
All applicants after May 1, 2007 must meet new requirements that include age, marital status, income, weight, medical history, criminal history, and others. The Chinese International adoption program is one of the most stable programs available for International adoption. China is the country that most Americans have chosen to adopt from since the year 2000. Most children are healthy, but simply unwanted. Because of China’s single child policy, most children available for adoption are girls, including infants to 6 years of age. There are some boys available for Chinese adoption, but not as frequently as girls. Older and special needs children are also available. These children reside mostly in orphanages and sometimes in foster care. .
Only adoptions that are fully completed in China are permitted. It is not possible to obtain guardianship of a Chinese child for adoption in the United States. The China Adoption Law has specific provisions as to what children are available for adoption and what adoptive parents are acceptable.
Adoptive parent requirements for people seeking Chinese adoption:
§ China requires adoptive parents to be at least 30 years old and under the age of 50. Prospective parents seeking to adopt an older child, or a special needs child, may be able to adopt up to the age of 55. China will not accept single applicants.
§ A minimum two years of marriage is required. If one or both applicants were previously married, a minimum of five years of marriage is required. No more than two divorces per spouse are allowed.
§ Prospective parents need to be healthy, both mentally and physically. China requires that applicants have no physical or mental handicaps, including: blindness, deafness, severe facial deformities, and physical disabilities. Further, China will not allow applicants to adopt if they have a body mass index of greater than 40, or if they are being treated, or have been treated for a mental disorder (including depression) in the last two years.
§ Parents seeking Chinese adoption cannot have a criminal history, although some exceptions can be made for minor offenses.
§ Prospective parents can have no history of drug or alcohol abuse including the abuse of prescription medications.
Another very important requirement for Chinese international adoption is that the family must have a net worth of at least $80,000. This includes a standard $10,000 annual income per family member, including the adopted child, for a minimum income of $30,000 a year for a family of three. This income cannot include pensions, unemployment insurance, or other government funds.
The prospective family seeking a Chinese adoption can have up to four children in the family already, with the youngest being no younger than one year old. There are exceptions made for couples willing to adopt a special needs child. Only a childless couple will be allowed to adopt twins.
When a couple is participating in a Chinese adoption, they will be required to travel to China. It is recommended that both prospective parents travel, but it is required that at least one parent makes the journey. The average time spent in China varies from 12 to 16 days.
The length of time that a Chinese International adoption may take from application to placement will vary from agency to agency. A couple planning a China adoption can expect a wait of about three years. Sometimes the process can be expedited when a couple is willing to take a child with special needs. A child that is considered “special needs” may only have a minor physical impairment that may easily be surgically corrected, so this is an option that may be worth taking into consideration.
Chinese international adoption is smoothly regulated, with set timelines, court appearances and regulated fees and costs. There are no surprises or hidden fees when adopting from China. One of the fees you’ll pay is an orphanage fee, which goes towards improving the other children’s quality of life.
The adoption agency that is chosen should be thoroughly researched before making a huge deposit, or signing any paperwork. It may be a good idea to contact an adoption attorney as well to help with the process.
A Chinese adoption is one of the more affordable adoption options when a couple chooses to adopt internationally. Most parents who adopt children from China are very happy with their decision, and say that they would gladly do it again.