If you’ve always wanted to adopt a child from China but felt discouraged by the eligibility requirements, this might be your lucky year! I’ve had the great privilege of adopting two beautiful children from Russia and China. While I love my children equally, there’s something special about the country of China that tips my heart in its favor. My husband concurs: if given the opportunity, we would move there in a heartbeat to serve orphans with special needs. The country is riddled with thousands of precious orphans who deserve the love of a family. Like any culture, it’s a complex blend of beauty and depravity…hospitality and inhumanity…and ancient and modern ideas. In this ever-changing landscape, a quiet strength, grace and wisdom of the people perseveres and you get to see God’s hand at work in the most miraculous of ways. I cannot encourage you enough to consider adopting an orphan from China. I had such a great experience adopting from China myself, I’d love to answer any specific questions you may have if I can be of help.
But most importantly, I was elated to hear that China’s official adoption authority, CCCWA, announced new, positive changes to their adoption policy effective as of January 1, 2015 to make it easier for more people to adopt orphans with special needs. If you’re single, don’t make a ton of money by America’s standards, have a large family, are over the age of 50 and/or have a medical condition, read on…because this might give you hope along your journey:
- Single applicants can now adopt a young child with minor special needs OR a special focus child. There just can’t be any more than a 45-year difference between the age of the parent and age of the child.
- If you’re over the age of 50, you can adopt a non-special focus or special focus child.
- Families with more than five children living at home can adopt.
- The wait time for a referral of a child with minor special needs is now six to nine months.
- Exceptions are being made for families with medical conditions. Check with your licensed adoption agency for clarification.
- While many mental disorders might make your family ineligible for adoption, if the disorder is minor and well-controlled by medication, they will make an exception.
- If a couple applies to adopt and one parent is completely healthy and the other parent’s condition is well-controlled after treatment, that’s acceptable.
- For families who have difficulty meeting China’s income or net worth requirements: While the CCCWA requires families to have a minimum income of $30,000 plus $10,000 per child living in the home (including the prospective adoptee), they will make an exception is a family lives in an area where the local cost of living is lower and they have above average income for their area.
My husband and I enjoyed our experience with Chinese Children Adoption International, but there are many good agencies and avenues to adopt a child from China. If you post questions in the comments section, I’d love to help answer any inquiries you may have.