China Adoption Program

China Adoption Program

Adopting from China

The China adoption program is well-established and has been a regular part of Hand In Hand’s work for over 20 years.

In 1992, MaryLee Fahrenbrink Lane, the founder and Executive Director of Hand In Hand, established the China adoption program. MaryLee was referred to Dr. Hong Hai Yang, who was at the time the pediatrics doctor for the Health and Welfare Institute of Nanjing, China. Dr. Hong became the Chinese coordinator for the agency. His acceptance by the Chinese Civil Affairs and Justice Ministries was a tribute to his work with orphans and care of all ages of children at the Welfare Institute.

China’s one-child policy and the strong desire for a healthy son bind many parents in China, as sons are responsible for caring for their parents in their old age and for carrying on the family name. Birthparents confront this difficult situation by leaving the children they cannot care for in a safe public place where they will be found quickly, with the intention that the child will be taken care of. For many birthparents, this seems to be the only real choice, as violating China’s one-child policy can mean serious penalties and fines imposed on the family. Children with medical needs, including many boys, are often left where they will be found and have their medical needs addressed.

Hand In Hand receives referrals to the China adoption program for children in orphanages all over China. Estimates are well over one million children who await a home and family to call their own. Our overall experience with these orphanages has been positive. Most are simple but clean, and do their best to provide good basic care for the children. In some cases, children are raised with nearby foster families.

For China adoption program information please Contact Vickie Truelove at our Indiana office.

Types of Children Available

Special Needs Program

Girls, ages 1-10, with minor, correctable, or repaired medical conditions.
Boys, ages 1-5 with minor, correctable, or repaired medical conditions.

Special Focus Program

Girls, ages 10+ with no diagnosed medical needs.
Boys, ages 6+ with no diagnosed medical needs.
Boys and Girls with complex medical conditions.

Visit Hand In Hand’s Waiting Child Program for information. Hand in Hand keeps a list of children we are advocating for at this time.
Referral information is prepared by orphanage staff and local medical facilities. It includes a developmental profile, medical and social history, photos and sometimes videos.

Types of Families Accepted

Couples, with no more than two divorces, married at least two years. If either spouse was previously divorced, current marriage must be at least five years.

Qualified single women may apply.

Parents may be between the ages of 30-55. Age of parent determines age of referred child.

Parents must have a body mass index below 40, have no psychiatric issues and be free of major health concerns.

See the Prospective Adoptive Parent (PAP) guidelines for more details.

Travel Requirements

One trip, one parent travel permissible.

Length of stay is approximately two weeks.

Hand in Hand offers full agency support with planning and in-country supervision.

All adoptions are finalized in China. Children receive a U.S. visa and become citizens upon touchdown in the U.S.


Time Frames

The Special Focus program has a short wait-to-match timeline, many families can complete an adoption in 18 months.
Match after home study; travel 4-5 months after completed dossier submission.

The Special Needs program requires a complete dossier required for match. Families usually travel 4-5 months after match.
Families requesting children under age three may experience a wait of 12+ months for a match.

For the Traditional Program, healthy infant or toddlers, the wait is over eleven years, and is not viable for new applicants at this time.

About China

China is a wonderfully diverse country, full of history, amazing sights, wonderful food and warm, welcoming people. Not surprisingly, however, it is different from the United States in every conceivable way (including having opposite days and nights). Time for families to adjust to the time change and initial culture shock is specifically built into the two-week trip.

China is home to 1.29 billion people – over 20% of the world’s population. The capital of China is Beijing and the official language is Mandarin, with dialects spoken in different areas.

China offers a rich and varied history and culture and historic sightseeing opportunities, such as the Great Wall.

Area controlled by the People's Republic of China shown in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled regions shown in light green.
Map by Ssolbergj. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License., GFDL, Link

For more information about the China Adoption Program, contact Vickie Truelove at our Indiana office.