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Adopt Chinese Children

According to the Civil Code of the People's Republic of China, foreigners can adopt children (male or female) in China.

In China, children under the age of 18 in the following categories may be adopted:

Orphans who have lost their parents;

Abandoned children whose birth parents cannot be found;

Children whose birth parents are incapable of providing for them because of unusual hardship.

Requirements for the Adopters

17 countries have established adoption cooperation with China, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

When a foreigner adopts a child in China, his or her adoption shall be examined and approved by the responsible agency of the adopter's resident country and he/she shall satisfy the following requirements:

Childless or only one child;
Capable of raising and educating the adoptee;
No illness that is deemed medically inappropriate for raising children;
30 years old and above;
• The age of adopters must not be less than thirty years or more than fifty years;
• The net property of the adoptive family's property must be USD 80,000 or more, while the average annual income of the entire family, including the adopted child, must not be less than 10,000 dollars;
• The Body Mass Index (BMI) must not be higher than 40;
• Adopters must not have a record of taking antidepressants;
• The adopters must be a married couple. The first marriage must last for at least two years, and the second or third marriage must last five years. Besides, the couple's previous marriage history must not have more than two divorces.

 Orphans, disabled children, or abandoned infants may be adopted irrespective of the restrictions that the adopters shall be childless or only have one child.


Documents Provided by Foreign Adopters

Adoption application
Identification (Birth certificate and certificate of nationality)
Marital status certificate
Certificates of profession, income and property
Health examination certificate
Certificate of no criminal record
A home study report regarding the lifestyle, immediate and extended family, finances and reasons for adopting
Certificate of child adoption approval issued by the relevant department of the adopter's country of residence


1. The documents above should be issued by the competent authority of the adopters' country and certified by the diplomatic establishments or by an institution authorized by the diplomatic establishments of the adopters' country, and authenticated or notified by the China Embassy or the Consulate-General.

2. A foreigner who has resided in China continuously for more than one year for work or study shall submit the documents stipulated above except for the health examination certificate, and shall also submit a certificate of occupation, economic income or property status, as well as a certificate of physical examination issued by a medical institution at or above the county level.

Main Procedures of Adoption

1. Submission of application: Apply for international adoption at the related organizations in the adopter's country and submit the relevant certificates listed above;

2. Acceptance of application: China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption accepts  application from the related organizations in the adopters' country;

3. Processing: China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption processes the adoption application, and chooses the appropriate adoptees according to the adopters' will.

The information and photos of the adopters and the adoptee will be sent to each other and  there will be a two-way selection until both of them have accepted each other.

Issuance of Notification: After the related organizations, the adopters and the adoptee all agree the adoption, the China Center will issue a notification of adoption for the adopter.

5. Come to China in person: After the foreign married couple receive the notification of adoption from China, they must come to China in person with the original notification and go to the civil department of the provincial government where the adoptee is located to apply for the registration of adoption. Here the adopters will see the child they have chosen.
6. Registration: To register an adoption, the foreign couple shall fill out the Registration Application for Adoption and submit a written adoption agreement with the the person placing out the child for adoption, the original notification of adoption issued by the Center, as well as identity certificates and photos of themselves.
Provincial civil departments will register the adoption that meets the legal requirements after the strict examination within 7 days, and issue related registration certificates. The adoption relationship is established from the date of registration, and the adoption is done. Adopters can now bring their child to their home country.

1. If one of the adopting spouses is a foreigner, the adoption shall also be registered following the procedures above.
If one of the spouses cannot come to China for some reason, a notarized and authenticated written power of attorney should be delivered by the other spouse.

- Last updated on Feb. 04, 2024 by Gabby Li -
Questions & Answers on Adopt Chinese Children
Asked by Mitchell from MALAYSIA | May. 24, 2024 08:18Reply
Foreign national married Chinese national
I am from Malaysia, I have been working in China for 10 years and have a China permanent resident card. My husband is from China. Can we adopt a child from China?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lori | May. 26, 2024 22:41

It's possible. The basic requirements:
1. You two need to be over 30.
2. You have the ability to raise a child.
3. You should be childless or only have one child.
4. You both should be healthy.
Asked by Mitk from ETHIOPIA | Apr. 30, 2024 13:43Reply
I'm foreign worker here in China, I'm 27 years old and I'm from Ethiopia.
I would like to adopt one child from china who can I be a mother. I'm not married yet
Answers (1)
Answered by Randy | May. 06, 2024 00:40

I'm afraid you cannot adopt one as you are not married.
Asked by Allison from UNITED STATES | Jan. 29, 2024 07:02Reply
New laws?
May I have a direct source to these laws? There has been rumors about China's new adoption laws, but no one has been told these new laws. There are hundreds of families waiting to unite with their children, and have been waiting for 4+ years.

Were there new laws put into place in Nov. 2023?

Thank you for any help you can give!
Answers (1)
Answered by Jessica | Jan. 30, 2024 00:54

As I know, the new Chinese adoption law has been executed since 2021. The new laws will be updated soon on this page.
Asked by Kimberly from CANADA | Dec. 25, 2023 01:19Reply
Adopting a child due to marriage?
I am Canadian working in China for the past 8 years, I am newly engaged to a Chinese man who is a single father of a 3 year old. When we marry I would like to adopt and become the legal mother of the child. Is there a different process for this?
Answers (1)
Answered by Diana | Dec. 25, 2023 18:37

In fact, once you get married with the man, you just become the legal mother of the child. It doesn't need any process of adoption.
Asked by Maria from TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO | Oct. 10, 2023 08:46Reply
What is the process to adopt a baby from China to persons of Trinidadian nationality
Answers (1)
Answered by Thomas | Oct. 10, 2023 20:44

You can refer to the process mentioned on the page above.
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