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General Information

We strongly encourage prospective adoptive parents to visit two websites. One is for the State Department, www.adoption.state.gov and another one is for the Council On Accreditation, the agency that does Hague Convention accreditation for adoption agencies in the international adoption field, www.coanet.org.

 Attention: Our agency closed our traditional adoption program owing to the long wait for healthy children assignments. For the time being, we only place children with special needs and only accept applications of families who have already accepted a match.

Here is the basic outline of steps necessary to complete the process and program of adopting. The majority of the steps are required by Chinese, federal, state and local regulations.

The formal process for the adoption of a Chinese child involves necessary compliance steps that fall within the following 3 topics:

  • Qualification of Prospective Adoptive Parents 
  • Home Study
  • USCIS I-800A Petition

Qualifications for Prospective Adoptive Parents for waiting children program

We do our best to keep qualifications updated. Please contact us for any concerns.

  • Minimum 30 years old, maximum 55 years old (please call if you are above the limit)
  • No jail term. No drug crimes ever.
  • No alcohol abuse or related crimes within the past 10 years.
  • No serious criminal records in the past 10 years.
  • You and your spouse must be legally married for a minimum of two years at the time your documents are sent to China if this is your first marriage.
  • If either of you have been divorced you need to be married for five years at the time your dossier is sent to China.
  • No more than 2 divorces between both spouses.
  • No more than 5 children at home; the youngest child should be at least 1 year old.
  • Minimum annual household income of $10,000 per person including intended child.
  • The husband and wife are physically and mentally healthy.
  • No medication for severe mental disorders such as depression, mania, or anxiety in past two years.
  • Each parent must have earned at least a high school diploma.
  • The parents receive a favorable home study by a licensed non-profit and Hague-accredited adoption agency.
  • USCIS approval (INS)
  • Yes, single women, but no homosexuals pursuant to Chinese Regulation
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or under
  • You must have an email address

Home study

A home study is required by each state, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS, formerly the INS) and the People's Republic of China for all adopting parents. It ensures that children are placed in safe, stable and loving homes, with families who are prepared for all that adoptive parenting entails.

USCIS I-800A Petition

Advanced processing is a procedure for completing the part of an orphan petition relating to the petitioner before an orphan is located so that there will be no unnecessary delays in processing the petition after an orphan is located. The I-800A petition shall be filed with the help of your social worker along with the completed home study to the USCIS. The USCIS approval is valid for 15 months. It is your responsibility to make sure that your USCIS approval does not expire! If you are concerned that it will expire before you return home from China with your child, please contact the agency as soon as possible. You will need to re-do the I-800a supplement 3 form and complete a home study update. We do not want your referral to be held up because your USCIS approval expires. It is best to keep track of the date and to begin to re-apply before it expires!

Children Available in China

Chinese children are considered legally available for adoption when the birth parents cannot be found. There is no prenatal care record or family medical history available. Both males and females are available for adoption; this includes ages between infant and thirteen years old. Most children available for adoption now are older children with medical needs, some of which are severe.

Medical Risks

While the Chinese government has a very good screening system on children’s health, adopting from China, like any international adoption, has its own set of risk factors.

  • We have no identifying information on the children’s birth parents or their medical history.
  • We have no records on their prenatal care.
  • The lab work in the physical exam is completed when the child is young and may not be reliable. The doctors who conduct the Chinese physical exam and the visa physical exam for the American Consulate are human beings and they can make mistakes. There is ALWAYS a possibility of a false negative or false positive on blood tests!
  • All children are vaccinated for TB in China. Therefore, upon return, the “arm test” done here to test for TB will show up to be positive, however, the chest x-ray shows no active TB. The decision to treat your child will be up to you and your pediatrician. For more information on the health risks associated with this, please consult your pediatrician.
  • Lead poisoning is another risk. Of the about 1900 children we have placed in the past 17 years, about 10 children have been reported to have high lead levels (ranged from 13 - 62). Please talk to your doctor to find out more about what this means as well as what it may mean legally if the level is above 25. For MA families, please visit this link http://www.state.ma.us/dph/clppp/ for more information about the medical and legal ramifications of elevated lead levels. For families from all states, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/adoption.htm for information on lead poisoning prevention and international adoption. In addition to general helpful information, this website includes a fact sheet and health education eCard.
  • Developmental delays ARE to be expected - gross/fine motor skills, language reception/expression, etc. Most children are quite resilient and are able to catch up, but some may struggle more than others. We encourage all families to have their child evaluated by Early Intervention when they return from China so that they can receive services to help them reach their developmental target.

    Physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Some children may have suffered these abuses and they are at high risk of RED and other potential emotional and physiological disorders.  

  • For our waiting children program, the agency cannot guarantee that the medical records from China will have a completely accurate diagnosis. There is no time limit for you to consult your doctors before you accept a match.
  • Travel-related medical risks to both the children and adults need to be addressed; these include the chicken pox, measles, SARS, etc. 


Dossier Documents – Sent to China

CCCWA Letter of Application and Commitment              

Birth Certificate (Husband) w/parents’ names listed 

Birth Certificate (Wife) w/parents’ names listed

Marriage Certificate (from the town/city)

Divorce or Death Decree (If applicable)

Criminal Record Check (Husband)

Criminal Record Check (Wife)

Physical Examination  (Husband)

Physical Examination  (Wife)

Verification of Employment (Husband)

Verification of Employment  (Wife)

Financial Statement

Home Study with three reference letters

USCIS Approval 

5 Pictures of Home – (1 of exterior, 3-4 of the main rooms – living rm., kitchen, etc.) 
Pictures of You – (as a couple, individuals, children, etc. –  can be wherever!)

Passport Photocopy  (Husband)
Passport Photocopy  (Wife)

2 Passport Pictures (Husband)

2 Passport Pictures (Wife)

Child abuse clearance for all states you lived in since 18 years of age  

Guardianship statement 

*If you have lived outside of the United States for any period longer than 1 year in the last five years AND you were 18-years-old or older, we will ALSO need your police clearance from those countries.

Time  (For the time being, we only accept new applicants for waiting children programs)

  1. The process from home study to travel to China takes about 1 to 2 years. There are four time factors: home study, I-800A process with USCIS, matching process, and travel. It will take about 5 to 6 months to complete your home study, receive USCIS approval, and complete the documents required for your dossier. It takes another month for China Adoption With Love, Inc. to prepare your documents and deliver your dossier to CCCWA. For I-800a families, after you accept the referral, you need to apply for the I-800 pre-approval and Article 5 approval. Then the travel plans will be made after we have received your travel notice from China. From the day we receive your travel notice, it takes about 4 weeks to travel to China.
  2. The trip to China for the adoption takes about 12-16 days. At least one parent is required to travel to China.

It is very important to note that the time frame is always subject to change. There are many variables that can make this process longer, as well as shorter. We will do our best to update you on varying time changes.


If you do the home study and post adoption services through our agency (MA, FL, ME, RI, NH, residents only), (not including home study and I-800a filing fee of $890) is approximately $26,000 for one person traveling and $29,500 for two people traveling. We break the costs into the following categories:

  1. Government Fees:

    •  I-800a petition fee: $720* (+ fingerprints, $85 x adults in same household)
    •  CCCWA Application fee: $1,970 without a pre-approval for a particular child OR $1,880 with a match before DTC
    •  Donation to the Orphanage: $5,600 (35,000 Chinese Yuan)
    •  Registration fee: $200-$750
    •  Notarization fee: $250-750
    •  Passport: $100-200
    •  Advertisement: $80-150
    •  Visa application and courier service: $425 •  Visa medical examination: $110 - 120
    2.Travel Costs:

Our agency will recommend travel agencies to you. Travel costs vary according to the season, the location of the orphanage and the services you will receive.

•  For international and domestic airfare, hotel reservations (double occupancy), local and national guides, travel to Beijing, Guangzhou and the city where the Social Welfare Institute is located, local transportation and most meals, it is about: $4500 - $5,500/person
•  Baby's one way air ticket to Boston (lap seat): $135-400
•  child's one way air ticket to Boston (actual seat): $680-1600

     3. Agency Fees for full service and placement service:

•  Application Fee: $200*

•  Administrative and agency service Fees: $3,900 and $700 for placement service

•  Home Study fee: $2,500;  Post Adoption Fee: $370 per report, mileage additional (47 cents) 

 * The application fee is submitted with a completed application to our agency.

** The administrative fee covers document preparation, express mail from this agency, domestic and international communications with CCCWA and orphanages, etc.

***The home study and post adoption fee of $4,720 is due prior to beginning your home study for full service families. The administrative fee of $3,900 is due when you receive the USCIS approval.The agency fee of $700 is due when you accept the referral from the China Center of Children's Welfare and Adoption Affairs.  

            For Home study and Post Placement Service Only:

Yes we provide home study and post placement services to families who use other agencies' placement service. The fee schedule is as following"

Aplication Fee: $200; administrative fee: $1,000; home study for China and all other countries: $2,500; Post placement: $370 per report. Mileage is additional (47 cents).   

 Travel Arrangements

China Adoption With Love, Inc. will recommend travel agencies for you to make your own travel plan. 


The Rainbow Fund

How to Make Donations Through CAWLI     

rainbowThere are two ways to make donations to the Rainbow Fund: 

The first is to simply write a check payable to CAWLI and in the memo section state the purpose of the donation and indicate, “Rainbow Fund.” If the donation is in honor of a child or a family, please send a note with the check to let us know!

The second way is a Security Account. Please consult with your accountant about tax benefits of a donation in the form of securities, such as stocks, bonds, real estates, etc. Please contact the office for more information.

Our hearts are touched on a regular basis by the stories we hear and the donations we receive. We truly wish to thank you for your kindness, generosity, and consideration for the children left behind. Through your help, we slowly make this world a smaller, more peaceful place and have evidence that the human spirit lives. Our CAWLI family continues to grow both in the States and in China.

On behalf of all of the children in China and all CAWLI families,

Thank you, CAWLI Staff

Hague Convention Accreditation

COA LogoOur agency submitted our application for the accreditation right after the form became available and became Hague Accredited in 2007.  High service is our agency’s goal since we started the agency. We passed the COA accreditation in 2003 and Lillian, our director, is a COA peer reviewer. We think the Hague Convention is important and we are fully ready for Hague accreditation. While there is a cost associated with the Hague accreditation, our agency is determined not to raise our adoption fees. We take pride in our responsible financial management style and we will continue our practice of efficiency and effectiveness. Our program has the lowest total cost in the country since we started and we are committed to stay with the course for future.

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