Your family has made the decision to adopt from China. Congratulations! Now, where do you begin?
- Find an agency that offers a China program. Not all agencies are licensed for China adoptions. A great place to start is by typing "China Adoption" into an online search engine. There will be many options for you to explore! China does not allow international private adoptions. You will need to use a licensed agency.
Select an agency that best fits your family's needs. Would like to use an agency that only offers a China program or multiple countries? Are you more comfortable working with a larger agency? Or smaller? Do they need to be located in your immediate geographic area? Or can they be out-of-state?
Do you meet China's requirements? The minimum age for an adoptive parent is 30 years. China believes that older parents are best. Agree or disagree, it's the rule. There is also a single's quota in place. Only 8% of all dossiers (applications) submitted can be from single women. Sorry, guys--with very few exceptions, China only allows single women to adopt. There are other requirements, as well. Check with your agency before signing on to make sure that you meet all of the requirements.
Get ready for a bumpy ride. China has, historically, been viewed as one of the more stable international adoption programs. But, accept that they can change their rules, processes and timelines whenever they like--and, have been known to do just that! There is nothing you can do to control it.
Find other families who have adopted from China. Families with Children from China is a great starting point. They have an informative, national website plus local chapters in many cities. The very best resource out there is other families. Get to know them. You'll find that many are more than willing to help you along the way.
Adopting from China can be a long road, but focus on who's at the end rather than the number of steps you have to take to get there. You may not understand or agree with all of the requirements, but when your child is placed in your arms, all of that will be forgotten!