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
Children aged 6 months to 13 years old.
Both girls and boys are available.
Mostly children with mild to moderate medical conditions.
Applicants seeking to adopt a special needs child will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Children on the Special Focus list are considered special needs, even if the need is their age. Visit Hand In Hand’s Waiting Child Program for information.
Types of Families Accepted
Couples married at least two years; if either spouse was previously divorced, current marriage must be at least five years.
Single women may apply to adopt; see December 2014 rules below for more details.
Both spouses must be 30 years old to adopt from China; no more than 50 years between the age of the younger spouse and child; no more than 45 years between the age of a single mother and child.
Adoptive parents must be in good health; see the Prospective Adoptive Parent (PAP) guidelines for more details.
Adoptive parents must hold high school diploma or greater education, or equivalent technical or vocational education.
Families with children at home acceptable; for single parents, the number of children under 18 years old in the family should be less than 3 and the youngest one should have reached 6 years old.
These are just some of the major requirements. The Prospective Adoptive Parent (PAP) guidelines covers more details.
One parent must travel to China.
Length of stay is approximately 10 to 14 days.
Dossier Submission to Match is 5+ years for “regular” program matches; 12-18 months for Special Needs Matches.
Match to Placement is typically 4 to 6 months.
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.
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