Adopting from China
For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight. China since the early 1990s has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations. For more information, read About China (The Country).
China Adoption Alert
China Travel Factsheet
Chinese National Anthem
To learn more, read Chinese National Anthem.
Hague Convention Information
China is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between China and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention. To learn more, read about China and the Hague Convention.
Chinese Adoption Background
The world's fourth largest country (after, Russia, Canada, and the U.S.), China is the nation most people turn to when they decide international adoption is the right way to build their family. From 1983 to 2003, Americans adopted 40,496 children from China.
China is a nation possessing a long and fascinating history – from being home to the most advanced bronze working civilization of the ancient world, to the invention of gunpowder and fireworks, to the famous (and infamous) such as Confucius, Kublai Khan, and Marco Polo, to the formation of the People’s Republic - the history of China is indeed impressive. However, the part of this impressive history that is most important to parents investigating international adoption is their One Child Policy. To learn more, read Chinese Adoption Background.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and China is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from China, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Read more about Who Can Adopt from China.
Who Can Be Adopted
Because China is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from China must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that China attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to China's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States. To learn more, read about Who Can Be Adopted from China.
How to Adopt
Because China is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from China must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements. Note: If you filed your I-600a with China before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. Read about Transition Cases for more information.
- Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be Matched with a Child
- Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
- Adopt the Child in China
- Bring your Child Home
To learn more, read about How to Adopt from China.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave China. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify United States passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place. To learn more, read about Traveling Abroad in China.
Prospective Adoptive Parents must provide an adoption application letter that makes clear the applicants' willingness to allow post-placement follow-ups and provide post-placement reports as required.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
NOTE: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
U.S. Embassy in China
Address: No. 55 An Jia Lou road Beijing, China 100600 Tel: (86-10) 8531-4000 Fax: (86-10) 8531-3300 Email: AmCitBeijing@state.gov
Consulate General of the United States in Guangzhou
Adopted Children Immigrant Visa Unit Mailing Address: #1 Shamian South Street Guangzhou, P. R. C. 51033 Physical Address: 5th Floor, Tian Yu Garden (II phase), 136-142 Lin He Zhong Road, Tian He District, Guangzhou (广州市天河林和中路136-142号天誉花园二期五楼) Tel: 011-86-20-8121 8000; 011-86-20-8518 7653 (Direct Line) Fax: 011-86-20-3884 4420 Email: GuangzhouA@state.gov
Ministry of Civil Affairs
No. 147 Beiheyan St. Beijing, 100032
Embassy of China
Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).