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China Adoption Factsheet

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DISCLAIMER: The information in this circular relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is provided for general information only and may not be totally accurate in a particular case. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel. The information is based on the Implementation Measures on the Adoption of Children by Foreigners in the People's Republic of China of November 13, 1993 and the China Adoption Law of April 1, 1992.

PLEASE NOTE: Chinese authorities are extremely sensitive about the intrusion of foreign entities. Adoption is also a sensitive subject in China. It is therefore advisable for any person interested in adopting a child from China to act with discretion and decorum. High profile attention to adoption in China could curtail or eliminate altogether adoption of Chinese children by persons from countries that have caused adoption to become the subject of public attention.


Only adoptions 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. These variables will be discussed in the flyer.

Prospective adoptive parents are advised to fully research any adoption agency or facilitator they plan to use for adoption services. For U.S. based agencies, it is suggested that prospective adoptive parents contact the Better Business Bureau and licensing office of the Department of Health and Family Services in the state where the agency is located.

GENERAL: The following is a guide for U.S. citizens who are interested in adopting a child in China and applying for an immigrant visa for the child to come to the United States. This process can be expensive, time-consuming and difficult, involving complex Chinese and U.S. legal requirements. Adoptions are given careful consideration on a case-by-case basis by both Chinese authorities and American consular officers to ensure that the legal requirements of both countries have been met, for the protection of the prospective adoptive parent(s), the biological parents(s) and the child. Interested U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to contact U.S. consular officials in Guangzhou and Beijing before formalizing an adoption agreement to ensure that appropriate procedures have been followed which will make it possible for the Embassy (Consulate) to issue a U.S. immigrant visa for the child.

AVAILABILITY OF CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION: Only children processed by China''s central authority for international adoptions, the Chinese center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) are available for international adoption. The CCAA matches individual children with prospective adoptive parent(s) whose completed applications have been submitted to the CCAA by a licensed U.S. adoption agency whose credentials are on file at the CCAA.

Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans:

FY-1996 IR-3 immigrant visas issued to Chinese orphans adopted abroad - 2, 901
IR-4 immigrant visas issued to Chinese orphans adopted in the U.S. - 432
FY-1997: IR-3 Visas - 3, 242, IR-4 Visas - 355
FY-1998: IR-3 Visas - 3, 766, IR-4 Visas - 440
FY-1999: IR-3 Visas - 3, 688, IR-4 Visas - 413
FY-2000: IR-3 Visas - 4, 520, IR-4 Visas - 533

CHINA ADOPTION AUTHORITY: The government office responsible for adoptions in China is the Ministry of Civil Affairs, specifically the CCAA.

Credits: U.S. Department of State

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