China International Adoption Process and Cost

If you’re looking to adopt internationally then you might want to consider an international adoption from China. Although over the years there has been a dramatic drop in international adoption to the United States, a large portion of the children have come from China and other Asian countries.

International adoption from China is a great option if you’re looking to adopt from overseas. China is one the largest of the contributing countries that allow adoptions to the U.S. and is part of the Hague Adoption Convention. China continues to provide parents with the option to adopt internationally. The total process cost between $11 – $25,000.

If you have started the research process for international adoption, then you might have come across China as a viable option. Asian countries have become one of the biggest resources for international adoption. This is important because over the years international adoption numbers have fallen in the U.S.

We are happy to see that so many people wish to adopt from abroad and help bring better lives to children all around the world. Adoption is one of the best ways to build a family when no other options are available. It changes the quality of the child’s life as well as the parents, for the better.

China has a very large population, for this reason, it is much more likely that one might be able to start the international adoption process with their country.


There is a shared list of adoptable children, available to adoption agencies, that is put together to show the number of children who may be adopted from China.

These are children that have the completed paperwork and are ready for the adoption process. The number of these children available for adoption are very few.

China has more girls than boys for adoption and when adopting internationally from China you will more likely be paired with children that have special needs.

For this reason, prospective parents should make sure they have reasonable expectations. The international adoption process can be a rollercoaster of emotions. Be prepared for every outcome.

First, let’s take a look at some of the reasons families might wish to adopt internationally.

  1. People want to make a difference in the lives of less fortunate children.
  2. You may want to adopt internationally because you love the culture of the home country you are considering adopting from.
  3. You’ve investigated domestic options and feel that international adoption better suits your needs.
  4. You want to broaden your knowledge of the world and the people in it.

These are all perfectly fine reasons to reach out to an international adoption community. If you fall into any of these categories, then you have come to the right place to find the correct information.

More children have been adopted to the U.S. from China than any other country, and America is the most desired adoption location world-wide.

China opened adoptions to the U.S. in 1992, and since then it has quickly become the largest resource for adopted children to our country.

Make sure you do enough research on China and the international adoption process to feel comfortable with what you are trying to achieve.

You are not just adopting a child; you are also adopting a country! The child will most likely have ties to their family in China and will require you to embrace that culture and everything that comes with it.

Why You Should Consider Adoption from China

Chinese culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world. They have beautiful landscapes and giant active cities. They are deeply rooted in ancient traditions and have built some of the largest communities of people.

Whether you love Asian culture or just want to find out more, international adoption research is a step in the right direction.

Some pros and cons of international adoption from China:

Pro: A rich culture and history

Con: Strict country laws and regulations

Pro: Children available to adopt

Con: Many of the children have special needs

If you are looking to adopt because you want to offer a better life for children that have special needs than China is a great option for you.

Many of the children available for adoption from China need specialized care and a more stable environment.

China has an explosive population and sometimes a child’s welfare can slip under the radar.

Adopting from China could make a real impact on a child’s life!


Costs of an International Adoption from China

International adoption has many fees and costs. Let’s take a look at the process and some projected costs involved.

  • Application Fee
  • Home Study Fee
  • Dossier Costs
  • Program Fee (Country Fee)
  • Travel Costs
  • Post Adoption Costs
  • Legal Fees
  • Government Fees

First a brief description of the process.

Adoption Application

The adoption application when adopting from China comes with a fee and must be considered into the overall costs.

Home Study

A home study is needed for an international adoption from China. A social worker comes to your home to interview you and any family members who live in the home so that they can make sure it’s a stable environment. The costs here go to the adoption agency to pay for the social worker and paperwork.

Adoption Dossier

The adoption dossier is made up of the information gathered by the social worker, interview notes, financial records, medical history and more. All of these documents have fees and the social worker gets paid by the Agency.

Adoption Program – Fee

A program fee (country fee) is the amount of money that China charges for an adoption. Program fees are different for every country.

Travel for an Escorted Child

When adopting from China, you must travel there to meet the child, talk to the foster care workers and be cleared by the Chinese government. Travel can be pricy and the overall process can sometimes take more than one visit.

Post Placement

Post placement happens after you return with the child and get settled into your new life together. A social worker must visit again to evaluate, often taking multiple trips to make sure that it’s a safe environment for the child. The costs involved come with the paperwork and labor by the social worker.

Legal Fees

There are some legal fees involved with the process and it is best practice to hire a lawyer who specializes in international adoptions to China.

Government Fees

The U.S. government has a few sets of fees concerning international adoption, China also has its own set of fees.

Now that you are familiar with the process here is a view of some of the projected costs.

Application Fee $175
Home Study Costs $1,500-$2,750
Dossier Fees $2,700
Country Fee $4,750-$12,250
Travel Costs $1,500-$4,000
Post Placement Fees $700-$1400

Projected Total: $11,325 – $23,275

Although these are just estimated costs, China does have some of the lowest fees for international adoption.

You must also obtain a visa for the child as well as go through the immigration procedures to make the child a U.S. citizen.

All these things add up and go into the overall cost of international adoption.

The process for adopting internationally from China can take up to 1 year and is not a quick process.

Be prepared for that. If it feels like things aren’t moving as quickly as you hoped, take a step back and breathe, if it is meant to be it will happen.

All great things in life take time and bringing a child into your home is well worth the wait!

If you need more moral support than you are getting with friends and relatives, reach out to organizations or forums that provide support as well as connecting you with families who have been through the process.

Some Difficulties when Adopting from China

The Chinese government is very strict in its policies and can sometimes be hard to work with. There can also be language barriers, although most agencies that you will be dealing with will have an already established line of communication with the country.

For this reason, you will want to work with an adoption agency that has a history of Chinese adoptions.

It will also help if you familiarize yourself with Chinese culture and research as much information on the country as you can. You will, after all, be traveling there and meeting with Chinese government employees to complete the process.

Here is a list of some of the difficulties involved:

  • Dealing with the strict policies of the Chinese government
  • Being in a foreign nation where you do not speak the language
  • Unknown costs that can come from different Chinese agencies
  • The list of children available can be a short list
  • Many of the children available for adoption in china have special needs
  • Infants are harder to adopt, expect to adopt in the age range of 2 years old to 10 years old.

Traveling to a place like China can seem like a lengthy troublesome process but don’t let that deter you from your decision to adopt from China.

Do your research and work through any problems that come up.

Some of the Rules for Chinese Adoptions

If you are considering international adoption from China, then there are some rules that the Chinese government requires you follow.

Be vigilant in gathering information and documentation that you need for this process. Here is a list of rules to follow:

  1. You must be at least 30 years old to Adopt a Child from China.
  2. There can be no more than 50 years difference in the age of the parents vs the adopted child.
  3. Couples must be married heterosexuals.
  4. Single women may adopt but can have no more than 2 children living at home.
  5. China requires that parents be mentally fit to raise children, without any intellectual disabilities or disorders.
  6. You must also be healthy and able to operate the day to day duties of raising children.
  7. Another requirement that China is very strict about is your financial background, you must be able to prove that you are financially able to adopt and raise a child.
  8. Education is also on the list of requirements; you need to have at least a high school diploma to be considered for an adoption from China.
  9. You must have a good moral history, no criminal record, and references that can show that.

Funding Options for Chinese Adoption

The Chinese government requires you to have the financial records to prove that you can raise and educate your adopted child.

This means that you must have good credit and a net worth that allows you to travel to China, and then raise the adopted child once you return.

Get help from friends

Although you must be able to prove your income and employment it doesn’t hurt to also reach out to family and friends for donations.

Do your research!

You must make sure that you have ALL of the financial requirements covered. Before you even start the process of international adoption from China make sure you know exactly what you are up against.

They require you to have a net worth that can cover medical help as well as schooling for the child.

Personal loans

Once again you must have a net worth that allows you to raise and educate your new child. Getting a personal loan can help show that but it can also end up on your financial report and may tip off the Chinese government that you needed some financial assistance.

Adoption Grants

Adoption grants are a great way to move forward with an adoption from China. Grants can be acquired without having to pay large sums of money back to the bank. Many organizations deal with grants for international adoption.


One way to raise your net worth is through fundraising. There are many ways to raise funds for an adoption. If you are not familiar with the fundraising process, then it might be a good time for you to look into your options. See more here.


There are also organizations out there that can be very charitable. They will sometimes offer large donations for funding your international adoption and are very passionate about bettering the lives of children.

Things to Consider When Traveling to China

Traveling to another country where you do not speak the language and may not know very much about the culture can be a tough visit. Make sure you exercise extreme caution.

There are many criminal elements that can dupe a person who is not educated on the process of traveling out of the country.

Make sure that you are informed on how to operate in a foreign nation. You will need to have your travel arrangements already worked out before you leave. Arrangements like transportation, hotel accommodations, food allowances and more.

When getting to China you will want to convert some of your money into local Chinese currency.

Educate yourself on the different systems that china uses for finances and accommodations.


Statistics Related to International Adoption From China

China has more adoptions to the United States than any other country. Price is a big factor in that determination as China has some of the lowest costs for international adoptions.

Since 1995 60,000 children have been adopted from China into the U.S.

Almost all of them have been girls.

China has a long history of abandoning female babies and keeping only male children. In the past, it was done because male children were considered providers, whereas females were considered to be not as productive.

Chinese people are very traditional and old school. They are set in their ways even if other countries scrutinize them for their methods.

Later it became an issue of population control. The Chinese government even implemented a program they called the one-child policy, which set a limit on how many children a Chinese family could have.

This was later changed allowing two children if the first child was female. Since 2015 they have since relaxed the one-child policy.

Between 2017 and 2018 China had a 22% drop in international adoptions, however, they still have the most adoptions worldwide.

Some Related Questions

Do both parents have to travel to China?

China only requires one of the two parents visit the country. This doesn’t mean that you can’t both go though if you are a couple. If you are a female and traveling to China by yourself make sure you have all the information you need and practice extreme caution.

Does China allow couples who aren’t married to adopt?

Unfortunately, the rule that couples must be married is another of the stricter policies that China has added to its criteria in recent years.

Also, you cannot adopt from China if either of the parents has had more than two divorces.

If either parent has been divorced in the past, China requires that they be married for at least 5 years before they can be considered for international adoption.

Chad Kilpatrick

A freelance writer passionate about adoption and helping to find children in need a forever home.

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