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by Christine Marie Wyman
Chinese adoption became a popular option for overseas couples in 1979 when China introduced its one child policy. This policy reduced the amount of children a family could have within China's borders. This measure was put in place to stop overpopulation. Because of the one child policy, many unwanted children were given up for adoption, especially girls, as the Chinese culture looks on male children as a way to carry on the family line. As most Chinese adoptions are overseas affairs, several rules were put into place.

Forms Required for Adopting Overseas

According to the consulate general of the United States to Gaungzhou, China, in order for a a United States citizen to adopt a child from any country outside of the U.S., the potential parents must first fill out a I-600A (application for advance processing of orphan petition) petition form from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Citizen and Immigration Services. This form must be filled out before an orphan is located. Following the successful completion of the I-600A, the applicants will be sent a I-171H (Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphanage Petition).

Requirements to Fill out the I-600A

In order to fill out the I-600 A form, to immigrate an orphan child to the U.S., one of the married applicants must be a U.S. citizen and both must be at least 30 years old. Married couples must also supply proof of their marriage. According to the China Center of Adoption Affairs, single people are not eligible to adopt from China. A couple's home study will also be conducted by a state representative. To pass the home study, financial stability, characteristics of the applicants are assessed, and criminal records are checked (which includes fingerprints of all living in the home). Before or during the adoption proceedings, both married applicants must have seen and observed the child prior to the adoption. If the child was not seen abroad, the applicants must sign a form stating that they are willing to readopt the child in the U.S. A fee of $545.00 plus $70 per person fingerprinted will be charged for this process.

Requirements for Applying to Adoption in China

According to the consulate general of the United States to Gaungzhou China, the following documents are required to adopt in China: an adoption application, a letter of intent to adopt describing the child the adoptive parents are willing to adopt, a copy of the I-171H form, passport copies of the applicants, birth certificates of the applicants, a marriage certificate, proof of employment/income, bank statements, deed to property trust deed certificates, health examination certificates, criminal/no-criminal record certificate, home study report, two letters of reference,
a certificate of good conduct from a local police agency, two full-faced photos of each applicant and additional photos reflecting the applicants' life.

Application Approvel

Once adoption is approved by the Chinese government, the China Center for Adoption Affairs will match the application with available children. Once a child is found, a packet introducing the child will be sent to the potential parents. If the child is desired and the parents notify the center of this, the center issues an approval notice and travel permission letter. The parents must have these documents in hand when arriving in China.

Picking up the Child

In order to pick up the child, the parents must have an immigrant visa ready for the child (the process should be started before the parents leave for China). Once in the country, the parents are required to proceed directly to the Children's Welfare Institute. The parents will then be interviewed and a contract will be created and registered. Following that the adoption will be notarized. Upon adoption, an expected donation of $3,000 to $4,000 U.S. dollars to the Children's Welfare Institute is required. Other fees also apply. Adoption is considered final.
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