China has been a popular country for international adoptions since 1992 when China first began allowing adoptions of Chinese children by Americans. During the 2005 at the peak of China adoptions, 7,906 children were adopted from China. By comparison, only 3,901 were adopted in 2009. There are many speculative reasons as to why the slow down, but the bottom line is China has tightened the restrictions as to who can adopt and has a backlog of dossiers (adoption application packets) so fewer children are being placed and the waiting time for referrals continues to increase. The wait for a “healthy” child under the age of 2 years old is in excess of 4 years for most families at this time.
So what does this mean for you if you want to adopt from China?
There are several questions you need to ask yourself to determine if this program is right for you.
- Are you prepared for an extended wait from application to referral of a child?
- Are you of Chinese heritage, which may qualify you for a shorter wait time?
- Are you open to a child with minor disabilities?
- Are you open to a child with more serious disabilities?
- Are you open to an older child – age 3 – 12?
- Are you open to either gender? Although most people adopt girls from China, boys are also available and can be overlooked since many people put “female” as their preference on their application.
Other considerations are China’s requirements concerning the adoptive parents health, education, finances, adoption training, legal records and post placement reports. Be sure that your social worker and adoption agency are both Hague compliant. Your social worker can walk you through the requirements so you can fully understand if you are even eligible to adopt from China. The new adoption guidelines also require six post placement reports, ending five years after the adoption is finalized.
The specific wording can be found on the official website for the China Center of Adoption Affairs, but if you reside in the State of Florida and need help determining if you are eligible to adopt from China, please contact us today.