China adoption requirements and China Adoption Criteria
Children Who Need Families
- The China program matches girls and boys with varying levels of special needs.
- Children without identified special needs are adopted domestically, so they are no longer available for international adoption.
- Many children are 2-4 years old at time of placement, but children through age 13 are waiting for families.
- Children from China are ineligible for adoption once they reach the age of 14.
- Older children and those with more involved special needs are featured on our Waiting Child photo listing.
- Waiting children can be matched with families who have an approved home study.
- Younger children with manageable/correctable conditions must be matched with a family whose dossier is completed and logged in with China.
- We rarely see biological siblings from China and families may not adopt two unrelated children at the same time.
- Both parents must be at least 30 years of age at the time of dossier submission.
- There can be up to 50-year age difference between the child and the younger spouse.
Length of Marriage
- Couples must be married at least 2 years at the time of dossier submission.
- If either spouse has two divorces, the minimum length for the current marriage is 5 years.
- Cohabitation can be included in the total length of relationship.
- No more than two divorces per spouse.
Children in Family
- Families can have up to 5 children under the age of 18 in the home.
- The youngest child must be at least 3 years of age at the time of dossier submission.
- Only single women may apply.
- Single applicants must be at least 30 years of age at the time of dossier submission.
- There can be up to a 50-year age difference between the child and the applicant.
- There can be up to two children under the age of 18 in the home, and the youngest child must be at least 3 at the time of dossier submission.
- The minimum annual income is $30,000 plus $10,000 for each child currently in the home.
- The minimum net worth for singles is $100,000.
- There are additional requirements for single applicants who live with a male partner.
- Single applicants will be required to have a companion when traveling to China.
Travel in Country
- At least one parent is required to travel to China, although travel by both parents is strongly encouraged.
- The average trip length is 14 days.
- Solo spouse travelers and single applicant travelers are required to have a traveling companion.
How Long it Takes
- For a waiting child who is older or has more involved special needs, the process takes about 12 months from application to placement.
- For younger children with manageable/correctable conditions, most families are currently completing the process in about 2 years.
- Due to recent changes in China, we expect this time frame to expand in the coming year.
- Families need to be as flexible as possible in terms of age, gender, and special needs to receive a referral in a reasonable period of time.
- Time frames are subject to change and we will keep you informed on a monthly basis as you make your way through the adoption process.
Waiting Child Program
- Many children who are older or have more involved special needs appear on the China Waiting Child photo listing.
- Families may request files for waiting children, but they may not be matched until they have an approved home study.
- China requires minimum annual income of $30,000 plus $10,000 for each child currently in the home, and net worth of $80,000 for couples and $100,000 for singles.
- Body mass index (BMI) cannot exceed 40 for each applicant.
- If one spouse is healthy, China is open to a chronic well-controlled medical condition in the other spouse.
- For skin, thyroid, breast or testicular cancer, the applicant must be cancer free for at least 3 years.
- For other types of cancer, the applicant must be cancer free for at least 5 years.
- China is open to one or both applicants with a well-controlled mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression, with a positive mental health letter.
- For families coming back into process, the soonest they can submit a dossier or LOI for another child is 12 months after the last adoption was registered.
- Home studies for China MUST be done by a Hague or COA-accredited agency.
- You will find a list of accredited home study agencies in your state on our website.