Intercountry Adoption


Country Information


People's Republic of China
Reconsider travel to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macau due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws. See specific risks and conditions in each jurisdiction below. Commercial transportation options for international departure and arrival are available. Exercise increased caution in the PRC due to wrongful detentions.

Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

Reconsider travel to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macau due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws. See specific risks and conditions in each jurisdiction below.  Commercial transportation options for international departure and arrival are available. Exercise increased caution in the PRC due to wrongful detentions.

Country Summary: The PRC government arbitrarily enforces local laws, including issuing exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without fair and transparent process under the law.

The Department has determined the risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals by the PRC government exists in mainland China.

U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR and the Macau SAR, may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. U.S. citizens in the PRC may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention without due process of law.

Foreigners in the PRC and the Hong Kong SAR, including but not limited to businesspeople, former foreign government personnel, and journalists have been unjustly interrogated and detained by PRC officials for alleged violations of PRC national security laws. The PRC has also interrogated, detained, and expelled U.S. citizens living and working in the PRC.

Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the PRC, Hong Kong SAR, or Macau SAR governments.

In addition, the PRC government has used restrictions on travel or departure from the PRC, or so-called exit bans, to:

  • compel individuals to participate in PRC government investigations,
  • pressure family members of the restricted individual to return to the PRC from abroad,
  • resolve civil disputes in favor of PRC citizens, and
  • gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.

In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of an exit ban when they attempt to depart the PRC, and there is no reliable mechanism or legal process to find out how long the ban might continue or to contest it in a court of law.  Relatives, including minor children, of those under investigation in the PRC may become subject to an exit ban.

The PRC, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR governments do not recognize dual nationality.  U.S.-PRC citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese descent may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and the PRC, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR governments may prevent the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General from providing consular services.

Check with the PRC Embassy in the United States for the most updated information on travel to the PRC. In some limited circumstances travelers to mainland China may face additional testing requirements to enter some facilities or events.

The Department of State does not provide or coordinate direct medical care to private U.S. citizens abroad. U.S. citizens overseas may receive PRC-approved COVID vaccine doses where they are eligible.

The PRC government has not authorized for general use in mainland China many COVID vaccines commonly available in the United States and Europe, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson products. It has conditionally authorized thirteen PRC-made vaccines; these are available to anyone residing in China. The FDA has not approved the two most commonly available, Sinopharm and Sinovac. Sinopharm and Sinovac have received approval for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, BioNTech mRNA COVID vaccines including the bivalent option are available. Please contact local health authorities for information on available vaccines.

Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.


Extra security measures, such as security checks and increased levels of police presence, are common in the Xinjiang Uyghur and Tibet Autonomous Regions. Authorities may impose curfews and travel restrictions on short notice.


Since the imposition of the National Security Law on June 30, 2020, the PRC unilaterally and arbitrarily exercises police and security power in the Hong Kong SAR. The PRC has demonstrated an intent to use this authority to target a broad range of activities it defines as acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign entities. The National Security Law also covers offenses committed by non-Hong Kong residents or organizations outside of Hong Kong, which could subject U.S. citizens who have been publicly critical of the PRC to a heightened risk of arrest, detention, expulsion, or prosecution. PRC security forces, including the new Office for Safeguarding National Security, now operate in the Hong Kong SAR and are not subject to oversight by the Hong Kong judiciary.

Demonstrations: Participating in demonstrations or any other activities that authorities interpret as constituting an act of secession, subversion, terrorism, or collusion with a foreign country could result in criminal charges. U.S. citizens are strongly cautioned to be aware of their surroundings and avoid demonstrations.

Propaganda: A PRC propaganda campaign has falsely accused individuals, including U.S. citizens, of fomenting unrest in the Hong Kong SAR. In some cases, the campaign has published their personal information, resulting in threats of violence on social media.

Read the country information page for the PRC, the information page for the Hong Kong SAR, and the information page for the Macau SAR for additional information on travel.

If you decide to travel to the PRC, including the Hong Kong SAR and the Macau SAR:

  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, read the Embassy COVID-19 page for the PRC and the Consulate General COVID-19 page for the Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR for specific COVID-19 information.
  • For the Hong Kong SAR, monitor local media, local transportations sites, and apps like MTR Mobile or CitybusNWFB, and the Hong Kong International Airport website for updates.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Exercise caution in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
  • Avoid taking photographs of protesters or police without permission.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • For the Hong Kong SAR, review your Hong Kong flight status with your airline or at the Hong Kong International Airport website.
  • Enter the PRC on your U.S. passport with a valid PRC visa and keep it with you.
  • If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate immediately.
  • If you plan to enter the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), read the DPRK Travel Advisory. Travelers should note that U.S. passports are not valid for travel to, in, or through the DPRK, unless they are specially validated by the Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Follow the U.S. Embassy on TwitterWeChat, and Weibo. Follow the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for the PRC, the Hong Kong SAR, and the Macau SAR.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Only adoptions from China to the United States are possible.

Hague Convention Information

China is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries must be done in accordance with the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations; as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of China.

China still remains the top country of origin for intercountry adoptions to the United States. Until a decade ago, adoptees from China were predominately infant girls but now the pool of available children is comprised overwhelmingly of those with disabilities or older children split evenly across genders. This demographic shift is largely due to increased efforts by the Chinese government to promote domestic adoption for children in need of permanent homes and by improvements in the Chinese economy which have simultaneously reduced the number of orphans while increasing the number of families willing to adopt. As a result of China’s efforts to promote domestic solutions to child welfare issues, Chinese citizens now adopt 25,000 to 30,000 children each year.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from China, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) seeking to adopt a child from China must meet the following requirements imposed by China:

  • Residency: China does not require PAPs to reside in China for a specified period prior to completing an adoption. However, in order to finalize an adoption, at least one adopting parent must travel to China to execute the required documents in person before the appropriate Chinese authorities. If only one member of an adopting married couple travels to China, that person must have in his/her possession a power of attorney from the other spouse, notarized and authenticated by the Chinese Embassy in Washington or one of the Chinese Consulates General elsewhere in the United States.
  • Age of Adopting Parents: The minimum age for PAPs to adopt from China is 30. China will allow married PAPs over 50 years of age to adopt a child. The age difference between the child and the younger spouse should, however, be no more than 50 years. Single female PAPs may be no more than 45 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
  • Marriage: Chinese law permits intercountry adoption by married heterosexual couples and single women. At this time, China does not permit lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, or intersex (LGBTI) individuals or same-sex couples to adopt. Married couples must adopt jointly. In addition, they must have been married at least two years; if either spouse has previously divorced, the couple must have been married at least five years. China does not consider individuals who have been divorced two or more times to be eligible to adopt. Specific age, income, and family environment requirements apply to single women (see relevant categories in the “who can adopt” and “who can be adopted” sections below).
  • Income: China requires an adopting family's annual income equal at least $10,000 for each family member in the household (including the child to be adopted). China requires married PAPs to have a net worth of at least $80,000. The net worth of a single prospective adoptive parent must be $100,000. The calculation of annual income should exclude sources such as a relief fund, pension, disability benefits, or foster care subsidy. China’s central authority may waive China’s annual income and net worth requirements in cases where the family’s income and net worth are above the average local living standard of the jurisdiction of residence, and the PAPs can provide valid certification to that effect. PAPs must be high school graduates or have vocational training equivalent to a high school education.
  • Physical/Mental Health: PAPS must be physically and mentally fit, with none of the following conditions:
    • HIV, AIDS, or an infectious disease that is actively contagious;
    • Mental disability;
    • Blind in both eyes, or blind in either eye or having impaired vision that is uncorrected by a corrective device.
    • Hearing loss in both ears or loss of language function (those adopting children with hearing or language function loss are exempted from this requirement);
    • Non-function or dysfunction of limbs or trunk caused by impairment, incomplete limbs, paralysis or deformation;
    • Severe facial deformation;
    • Severe diseases that require long-term treatment and that may affect life expectancy, including malignant tumors, lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis;
    • Major organ transplant within ten years, China may consider an exemption to this restriction for couples in which one spouse had a transplant within 10 years but has recovered to a normal daily life;
    • Schizophrenia;
    • Severe mental disorders, including depression, mania, or anxiety neurosis (China may exempt this restriction for couples with proof of effective treatment); and
    • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more.
  • Other: A single prospective adoptive parent must not have more than two children in her household under the age of 18 and the youngest child must be at least six years old. The Chinese Central Authority will consider the occupation and lifestyle of prospective adoptive parents to determine whether the PAPs will be available and able to take care of the child that they seek to refer. PAPs must have a history of honorable behavior and good moral character, and must not have a criminal record, including without evidence of:
    • Domestic violence, sexual abuse, abandonment, or abuse of children; even if not arrested or convicted;
    • Recreational drug use and those with substance abuse histories; including opium, morphine (unless medically administered), marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, etc. Note that PAPs will be required to provide information regarding prescription medications to the Chinese central authority so that it may evaluate eligibility of the PAPs on a case-by-case basis.
    • Alcohol abuse, unless the individual can show she/he has been sober for at least ten years.

Note: Applications from individuals with past criminal records will be considered on a case-by-case basis if the individual has three or fewer minor criminal violations that did not result in severe outcomes (none in the last ten years) and five or fewer traffic violations with no severe outcomes.

The prospective parents must demonstrate the ability to provide a safe family environment capable of meeting the needs of a child placed for adoption and providing for her/his development, and an understanding of the special risks (including potential diseases, developmental delays, and post-placement maladjustment) that could come with inter-country adoption.

Who Can Be Adopted

Because China is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from China must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for intercountry adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of China have determined that placement of the child within China has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.

In addition to qualifying as a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, a child must meet the following requirements of China:

  • Relinquishment: Birth parents may voluntarily relinquish their parental rights by presenting credible evidence to the provincial authorities and the Chinese Central Authority that they are unable to rear the child due to “unusual difficulties.” For example, birth parents must present credible evidence of hardship in order to the Chinese central authority or local authorities to allow voluntary relinquishment. Such credible evidence that birth parents may present includes when birth parents have physical or social incapacities which limit their ability to rear a child.
  • Abandonment: Children with no known birth parents must be placed from a Social Welfare Institute (SWI) licensed by China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs. The Civil Affairs Department of the province where the child was abandoned will publish a public announcement in a local provincial newspaper to locate biological parents. If the biological parents or other legal guardians do not claim the child after 60 days of the date of publication of the public notice, the child will be certified as abandoned.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: Chinese law permits the adoption of children up to and including age 13. An adoption involving the child of a blood relative of the same generation up to the third degree of kinship is exempted from the age limit. Please note that in order for a child to meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another adopted child who has immigrated or will immigrate based on adoption by the same adoptive parent(s)). Please see the USCIS website for special rules on filing dates for children aged 15-16 or siblings aged 17-18.
  • Sibling Adoptions: No specific requirements.
  • Medical Conditions Other Needs: China places children with disabilities and older children from its special focus (SF) and non-special focus (non-SF) children according to their degree of special needs and health conditions. See the “Apply to China’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child” section for further detail on the procedures involved with adopting a child with disabilities or an older child.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: Recent experience indicates it can take approximately 9 years for PAPs to receive a referral of a healthy infant from China’s central authority. Cases involving children without disabilities or older children are generally much shorter.

    After the referral is sent and the prospective parent(s) accept the referral (see the step-by-step description of the Chinese adoption process, below), at least four to eight more weeks may elapse before the prospective adoptive parents receive the Chinese central authority’s final approval to travel to China.

    Families should allow at least three weeks in China to finalize their child's adoption and immigration procedures. The Chinese central authority has advised local officials to try to complete the process within 15 days after the prospective adoptive parents arrive in China. The child's Chinese passport, exit permits, and U.S. immigrant visa process will take another 7-10 days after the adoption is finalized.

Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are available for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

How to Adopt

Because China is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from China must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is provided below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider that has been authorized by China’s Central Authority to Operate in China
  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-800A)
  3. Apply to China’s Authorities to Adopt and Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee (Form I-800) and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption (Art. 5/17 letter)
  5. Adopt the Child in China
  6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider That Has Been Authorized by China’s Central Authority to Operate in China

The first step in adopting a child from China is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases and that has been authorized by the Government of China. A list of the accredited ASPs authorized to operate in China is located here. A primary provider must be identified in each Convention case and only accredited or approved adoption service providers may act as the primary provider in your case. Your primary provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided consistent with applicable laws and regulations;
  • Supervising and being responsible for supervised providers where used (see 22 CFR 96.14); and
  • Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must be found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS by submitting Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country. You will need to submit a home study, fingerprints, and a background check as part of this application. Read more about Suitability and Eligibility Requirements.

3. Apply to China’s Authorities to Adopt and be Matched with a Child

Submit Your Dossier to the Central Authority
After USCIS determines that you are suitable and eligible to adopt and approves the Form I-800A application, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in China as part of your adoption application. China’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also suitable and eligible to adopt under China’s law.

Receive a Referral for a Child from the Central Authority
If both the United States and China determine that you are suitable and eligible to adopt, and China’s Central Authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Central Authority for Convention adoptions in China may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of the child. The adoption authority in China will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. We encourage families to consult with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for, a specific child and must conform to the recommendations in the home study submitted to USCIS for the number of children and capacity to deal with any disability-related needs of an adoptive child. Learn more about Health Considerations. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Central Authority in China. Learn more about this critical decision.

Prospective adoptive parents either accept or refuse a referral and send the document to their agency, which forwards it to CCCWA. CCCWA requires a response on a referral within three months of sending a referral to a family. If PAPs are considering refusing a referral they should work with their ASP to approach CCCWA for second referral. CCCWA will only accept requests for a second referral is the CCCWA considers the reason for rejecting the first referral to be justified. If the reason for the rejection is considered justifiable, such as a medical need that the prospective adoptive parents feel they cannot meet, the CCCWA may refer a second child to the prospective adoptive parents within a month's time. If CCCWA regards the rejection as unreasonable, the prospective adoptive parents will have difficulty obtaining a second referral and CCCWA may suggest that the prospective adoptive parents withdraw their application for adoption in China.

Requirements for Adopting Children with disabilities or older children: Once prospective adoptive parents decide to accept a referral of a child with disabilities or an older child, they have 72 hours to fill out the necessary forms to complete their pre-approval application. Prospective adoptive parents can review the case, including the medical and growth records and a photo of the child. The specific medical or other needs of the child is documented in the referral and the prospective adoptive parents can decide if they can meet the child's needs; for example, whether their insurance would cover the child's medical needs, and whether they themselves are able to provide any educational or rehabilitative support, etc. If the prospective adoptive parents decide they are able to meet this child's needs, they indicate such to the CCCWA and from that point onward they have 72 hours to fill out the necessary forms to complete the dossier. If the prospective adoptive parents have not completed the forms and submitted them within 72 hours, the child's name goes back on the list and other prospective adoptive parents can review that child's file. For detailed information, please consult your adoption service provider.

4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

Submit a Petition for a Determination on the Child’s Immigration Eligibility
After you accept being matched with a particular child, you will apply to USCIS for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States by filing the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child appears to meet the definition of a Convention adoptee and will likely be eligible to enter and remain in the United States.

Submit an Immigrant Visa Application
After provisional approval of Form I-800 petition, you or your adoption service provider will submit a visa application to the consular section of the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from China.

You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number. Use this information to log into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to file the Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) for your child. You should fill out these forms in your prospective adoptive child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form. A consular officer will review the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and the visa application and, if applicable, advises you of options for the waiver of any ineligibilities related to the visa application.

Warning: Do not attempt to adopt of a child in China before you receive provisional approval of your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5. Adopt the Child in China

Remember: Before you adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in China, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps can you proceed to finalize the adoption or a grant of legal custody by China for the purposes of emigration and adoption. The process for finalizing the adoption [or obtaining legal custody] in China generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority:
    • The CCCWA as the Chinese Central Authority:
      • Regulates and monitors intercountry adoptions, and implements the Hague Adoption Convention in China;
      • Provides information regarding children available for intercountry adoption;
      • Authorizes Adoption Service Providers; and
      • Issues “Letters of Seeking Confirmation” and "Notices of Coming to China for Adoption"
    • The Ministry of Civil Affairs
      • Administers the provincial Departments of Civil Affairs, which issue the final adoption certificate; and
      • Licenses Child Welfare Institutes (CWI) and SWIs which place children for intercountry adoption.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies: Accredited agencies and approved persons facilitate case specific communication with, and submit supporting documentation on behalf of PAPs to, CCCWA.
  • Time Frame: The time between when the adoption process commences and when a match is completed may vary based on the specific circumstances of the case and availability of necessary documents. In general, intercountry adoption of a healthy infant may take 9 or more years to be matched with a child. Intercountry adoptions involving a child with special needs generally may take between six months to two years.
  • Adoption Application: Adoption application letter (submitted with dossier through ASP). See full list of documents required below.
  • Adoption Fees:
    We encourage prospective adoptive parents to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either directly or through your U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to the Convention, U.S. law, or the law of China with your adoption service provider, or, when appropriate, through the Complaint Registry. For more information in this regard, please refer to information concerning the Complaint Registry. Improper payments may violate applicable law or create the appearance of child buying, and could put all future adoptions from China at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Further, the IAA makes certain actions relating to intercountry adoptions unlawful, and subject to civil and criminal penalties. These include offering, giving, soliciting, or accepting inducement by way of compensation intended to influence or affect the relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, a decision by an entity performing a central authority function or a decision by an accrediting entity with respect to accreditation of an agency or approval of a person.

    In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

    Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from China include:

    The authentication/legalization of documents by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in the United States costs $10 per document, whether the document is one or multiple pages. The fee is for authentication of the seal.

    The initial CCCWA service fee is $1100, plus $350 for translation of the documents submitted in the dossier. For step-children who are being adopted by a step-parent, the service fee is $800, and there is no translation fee. The translations can be done in the United States or China, however, the CCCWA advises that the translations must be correct and that CCCWA will rectify, and charge for correcting any errors.

    Fees for issuance of certificates, and for notarization of those certificates, may vary based on province.

    Note: The certificate approving the adoption, birth certificate and abandonment certificate normally come together in a packet notarized by the provincial notary office. The U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou no longer requests the notarized adoption certificate but still requires the birth certificate and abandonment certificate to be notarized. Many provincial notary offices still issue these three notaries as a package. Additional documents may be required (e.g., death certificates, if applicable) but the cost of issuance and notarization of such documents is not included in this fee.

    Chinese passports cost $25 for the normal 15-working-day issuance. Charges for expedited service differ by province.

    Individual Children's Welfare Institutes (if where the child lives before adoption) may charge 35,000 RMB (approximately $5,000 dollars in local currency) as a combined donation to the institution and a fee for caring for the child.

    U.S. adoptive parent(s) who believe that they were compelled at any point during the adoption process to pay exorbitant fees not in of keeping with the general information provided in this information sheet should notify the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou.
  • Documents Required:
    • Adoption application letter.
    • Birth certificate(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s).
    • Marital status statement - Either a marriage certificate, divorce or death certificate (if applicable) or statement of single status is required.
    • Certificates of profession, income and property which may include; verification of employment and salary; bank statements; a copy of your property trust deeds, if applicable. All documents must be notarized or certified.
    • Health examination certificate(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s).
    • Certificate(s) of criminal or no-criminal record - A certificate of good conduct for the adoptive parent(s) from a local police department notarized or bearing the police department seal and authenticated. An FBI report is acceptable in lieu of a local police record. This is separate from the FBI check conducted by USCIS as part of the petition process. You can request an FBI record check by sending two sets of fingerprints, an $18 money order, your full name, date and place of birth, social security number and letter of request explaining purpose for clearance to: FBI ID Division, Room 10104, Washington, DC 20537-9700. The FBI certificate should also be authenticated.
    • Home study report.
    • Certificate of child adoption approval by the competent department of the adopter's country of residence, also known as the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services I-797 Notice of Action on an I-800A application along with copies of the U.S. passport(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s).
    • Each applicant parent should also submit two front-view photos and several other photos reflecting the family's life in the United States.
    • Power of attorney notarized and authenticated (if only one spouse will travel to China). In case of married couples, if only one adopting parent comes to China, Chinese law requires that the spouse traveling bring a power of attorney from his/her spouse, notarized and properly authenticated by Chinese Embassy or one of the Chinese consulates general in the United States.

    Note: Additional documents may be requested.

6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete there are a few more steps to take before your child can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate
If you have finalized the adoption in China, you will first need to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

Requirements vary from province to province. The SWIs and ASPs help adopting parents obtain birth certificates and Chinese passports. Birth certificates always have birth-parents’ names if known or otherwise state “unknown.” Authorities do not put in adopting parents’ names in the birth certificate.

Chinese Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from China. The Social Welfare Institute (SWI) will assist in obtaining a passport from the Public Security Bureau in the city of SWI for the prospective adoptee.

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S.Consulate General in Guangzhou, China. After the adoption or custody for purposes of emigration and adoption is granted, visit the U.S. Consulate General for a final review of the case, and if applicable, the issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, the final approval of the Form I-800 petition, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child. Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou by email at to schedule your child’s immigrant visa appointment. As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer with the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child if you did not provide it during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination in China here.

Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please be sure to complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number. You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child. An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Print and bring the DS-260 form confirmation page to the visa interview. Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

Please visit the U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou’s website for the latest information on appointment scheduling and visa procedures.


For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s admission into the United States: An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including that the child is under the age of eighteen.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: You will need to complete an adoption following your child’s entry into the United States and before the child turns eighteen for the child (if he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000) to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Once your child has acquired U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for any international travel. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Department of State’s Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to China
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa to travel abroad. Where required, visas are affixed to a traveler’s passport and allow him or her to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for China, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in China, to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in China, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements
We urge you to comply with China’s post-adoption/post-placement requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption service provider may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to China’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive parents.

Prospective adoptive parents must provide an adoption application letter that makes clear the willingness to allow post-placement follow-ups and provide post-placement reports as required. (Compliance with post-placement and post-adoption reports is extremely important for continued close cooperation on adoption between the United States and China.)

For cases issued a Notice of Coming to China for Adoption after January 1, 2015, CCCWA requires PAPs to submit post placement reports six months, one year, two years, three years, four years, and five years after the adoption registration.

The first three reports must be prepared by the social workers who prepared the home study. The last three reports may be written by the families themselves. Please consult your adoption service provider for further details.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. You may wish to take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption.


If you have concerns about your adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the Consulate General in Guangzhou, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously. Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-800 petition process.

The Complaint Registry is an internet based registry for filing complaints about the compliance of U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers with U.S. accreditation standards. If you think your provider's conduct may have been out of substantial compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider. If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Complaint Registry.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in China
U.S. Embassy Beijing
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Beijing, China 100600
Tel: (86-10) 8531-4000
Fax: (86-10) 8531-3300

U.S. Consulate General of the United States in Guangzhou
Mailing Address: 43 Hua Jiu Road, Zhujiang New Town
Tianhe District
Guangzhou, China. 510623
Physical Address: Huaxia Road, Zhujiang New Town, (near Exit B1 of the Zhujiang New Town subway station, Line 3 and Line 5),
Tianhe District
Guangzhou, China
Tel: 011-86-20-3814 5000

China’s Adoption Authority
The China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption
16 Wang Jia Yuan Lane
Dongcheng District
Beijing, China 100027
Tel: 010-655-48998

Embassy of China
2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Suite 110
Washington, D.C. 20007Tel: 202-337-1956
Fax: 202-588-9760

China also has consulates in: Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; and New York, NY.

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1- 913-214-5808

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

Last Updated: August 26, 2022

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Beijing
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600
+(86)(10) 8531-4000
+(86)(10) 8531-4000
+(86)(10) 8531-3300

China Map