UPDATE: Currently the wait time for a Waiting Child referral after you are logged in is 1-3 months, and families typically travel about 6 months after that, making the entire adoption process from contract date about 12-15 months. China expedites all special needs adoptions. (Read Complete Update)
Since 1994, All God’s Children International has been privileged to work alongside the China Centre for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) to find loving homes for many of China’s orphans.
The CCCWA’s implementation of the special needs database has given AGCI access to approximately 2,000 special needs children who are waiting for loving families. China’s adoption process is both stable and efficient, and the CCCWA is committed to providing thorough medical and social information on all children available for adoption.
We have been blessed to have united more than 300 special needs children from China with families and we continue to advocate for the thousands of children who are still waiting.
More than 2,000 waiting and special focus children are currently available. Many of the waiting children have minor correctable needs and are between 4 months and 13 years of age. Most children are 2 to 4 years old and 75% are boys. These children can be placed once a family has their dossier logged into the CCCWA.
Special focus children can have more complicated special needs and can be pre-placed with families during the home study process.
Healthy children from 9 months of age are available, with up to a six-year wait to complete the adoption.
Once you are contracted with AGCI, your first step is to begin your dossier and home study. AGCI staff will assist your family in this paperwork process. After completion of your dossier, it is sent for authentication at the Chinese Consulate and forwarded to AGCI staff in Beijing for translation. Once translated, your dossier is submitted to the CCCWA.
Once you are logged into the CCCWA, your family is eligible to be matched with the children listed on the CCCWA database. At this time, AGCI will begin to look for a child that matches your family’s criteria. Through the special focus program, you can accept the referral of a child during your home study and dossier process. If you choose to adopt a healthy child, your family can wait up to six years to be matched by the CCCWA.
At time of referral, you will receive medical information that includes photos, a physical examination, blood tests, a background report and a developmental checklist. You also receive any information available on prior surgeries, specialized testing (if needed), and hospitalizations. AGCI requires all families to have the medical and background information reviewed by an international adoption specializing pediatrician.
When your family accepts the referral of a child, the CCCWA will review your dossier. After your dossier receives all the required approvals, the CCCWA will issue a travel approval, inviting you to come to China to finalize the adoption.
AGCI strongly recommends that both parents travel to finalize the adoption process and initiate the bonding process with your child. The first week will be spent in the capitol of your child’s province where they will receive their passport. Once finalized, your family will travel to Guangzhou to complete your immigrant visa process. A travel guide will accompany your family throughout your stay in China.
Once your child is home, China and AGCI require post-adoption visits on 1 , 3, 6, 12, 24, 36 and 60-month anniversaries of your child’s adoption in China. Reports will be prepared for each visit by a licensed social worker employed by a Hague or COA accredited agency.
Joshua is a busy, active, healthy little boy who has a prosthetic foot, but never slowed down. He plays tennis and T-ball, swims, and enjoys fishing trips with his daddy. We are blessed.
God’s plan is perfect and God’s timing is perfect. Trust in His plan and remember He is always faithful. We are so thankful for God’s hand on our family and blessing us with the perfect son. We don’t think of our son as “special needs”; he is perfect to us. We are so very thankful to be his mom and dad.
Today our son is a handsome, fun-loving, life-of-the-party, very smart 6-year-old who just started kindergarten. God has been faithful to us and to Jon as he has had several surgeries since coming home and is doing so well. Our lives have changed – material things just don’t seem to matter much anymore. The eternal things matter so much more! God has also taken us back to China, to the same orphanage that Jon came from (totally a God thing, not something we planned) to bring home another child. God’s seed has fully blossomed into a beautiful rose with petals that form our family. To God be the glory!
This story would not be complete without sharing how much a part of our family the staff at AGCI has become. They were not only there to guide us through all that paperwork, but they prayed with us and they cried with us. And finally, they rejoiced with us when we returned home with our children! Thank you to all of you at AGCI.
I became a client with AGCI with the intent to adopt a non-special needs, as-young-as-possible baby girl from China. At the same time I signed the initial contracts and began the home study, I began to think about, pray about, and research special needs adoptions. The waiting times for China adoptions were increasing, and I was surprised to find that my idea of “special needs” was very different from China’s. So many of the children had “needs” that were minor, correctable, or just plain uncomplicated. Much to even my own surprise, I ended up choosing to adopt a 2-year-old with a congenital heart defect. I am so glad that God’s ways are higher than our ways. I would never have known to go looking for a toddler labeled as “special needs,” but it was a perfect fit. As my friend tells me, “she was special, and you needed her.” So true.
Parents between the ages of 30 to 55 years old are eligible to adopt a waiting or special focus child. Parents between the ages of 30 to 50 years old are eligible to adopt a healthy child.
Couples must be married at least two years prior to beginning the adoption process. If either parent has been divorced, China requires at least five years of marriage prior to application, with no more than two divorces per couple being considered.
Single women 30 to 55 years old who provide a single status form are welcome to adopt a special focus child. The age between the child to be adopted and the applicant can be no more than 45 years.
If married, both parents must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and one must have a stable occupation. Single applicants will have a high school diploma and child care experience or be employed as a nurse, doctor, teacher, psychologist, counselor, or in a related field.
Body Mass Index
Applicants must have a body mass index of less than 40.
Children in Family
Families with more than four children in the home can adopt a waiting or special focus child from China. Families with no more than four children in the home under 18 years of age are welcome to adopt a healthy child from China. Single applicants with no more than two children in the home between the ages of 6 and 18 are welcome to adopt. At least 12 months must separate the arrival of a new child into the home, prior to beginning an adoption.
Married couples must have a positive net worth of at least $80,000; single applicants must have a positive net worth of at least $100,000. Family income should reach a minimum of $10,000 per family member, including the adopted child.
Applicants can have no history of felonies and no more than two misdemeanors in their lifetime.
Applicants with a past or current diagnosis of a life-threatening or communicable disease or other condition that impairs their ability to parent and/or the quality of life of a child are ineligible. Applicants must be mentally healthy with no mental health medications for the past two years. A psychological test is required for all applicants.
Travel in Country
One trip lasting 12 to 14 days is required. At least one parent must travel to China to finalize the adoption. AGCI strongly recommends that both parents travel.
Time Frame for Adoption
Approximate time frame from application through finalization of an adoption of a waiting or special focus child is 12 to 18 months. The approximate time frame from application through finalization of an adoption of a healthy child is up to six years.
Actual costs vary due to a variety of issues, including exchange rates and number of people traveling. The following breakdowns provide a typical range of expenses, with an overview of what is included in each category.
Application Fee: $350
Initial assessment of your family’s information to assure that all country requirements can be met to complete an adoption in your chosen program.
Home Study Services: $2,200
This is the education process where a licensed social worker will partner with your family to help prepare you for the challenges ahead as an adoptive parent. The social worker will also be learning about your family in order to prepare a document for inclusion in the dossier that explains to the courts how you will provide a stable environment and loving family for your child.
AGCI Adoption Services: $6,000
Provides staff and services from AGCI throughout the adoption process and for years to come through the post-adoption phase. Unlike many agencies, we always welcome your call.
USCIS and Related Fees: $805-$890
Filing fees and related costs to file your documents with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.
International Fees: $5,400
Your dossier is a detailed collection of documents about your family. Many of these have to be notarized, certified, and authenticated. Upon completion of your dossier, we translate it and facilitate your adoption case in-country through our foreign service providers, the government agencies, and the courts.
Care of Child Fees: $5,750
These fees provide care for your child in their birth country. Included is an orphan care fee that supports ongoing orphan care.
Travel Costs: $8,000-$12,000
One trip is required to China. Typical costs include airfare, transportation, food, lodging, a travel coordinator, and an immigrant visa for your child.
Post-Adoption Services: $3,800-$4,500
These fees provide for the creation, administration, and translation of your post-adoption reports. Other post-adoption expenses include your re-adoption fee and ongoing medical insurance.
Families are eligible for the federal government Adoption Child Tax Credit in the year adoption is finalized. The 2011 credit is $13,170 for most adoptive families.