What documents are needed in China?
We have guides in China who will walk you through every step of the adoption process and paperwork! We also have a "Travel Meeting" held about 2-3 weeks prior to your travel date where we go over everything. For out-of-state families, we go over everything via phone.
Do you recommend any particular books we should read and/or support groups we should join?
Yes. It is always a good idea to read about adoption and China and to meet with other families and knowledgeable individuals regarding the adoption process and family life after international adoption. Families with Children from China (FCC) has a wonderful website. Please see the "Support" section of this site for detailed information on these organizations. For a list of books please see the "Booklist" section of this site.
Does CAWLI offer any support services during the waiting process?
Yes! When your file is sent to China, you are considered a "Waiting Family." We at the agency truly feel that peer support is very beneficial during this exciting, yet sometimes frustrating period. When your dossier is sent to China, you receive a DTC date (Dossier to China). We ask that one parent out of every DTC month to volunteer to be a "point family" for their DTC group. Then, if interested, you can contact the point family and get to know others with whom you are likely to travel. How better to cope with this long wait period than with others who are experiencing the same feelings?
CAWLI has also begun Chinese Cultural Workshops for waiting families. These workshops are designed to educate families on the Chinese culture. The format is dedicated to prospective adoptive parents and broadening their awareness of the rich and historical culture of China. Although these workshops are not specific to adoption, per say, it provides waiting families the knowledge to pass on their daughter's heritage to embrace within their family.
What about support services after our adoption from China?
When you return form China, you will be provided information on how to re-legalize your adoption, how to obtain a passport and a social security card, as well as information on citizenship. You will meet with your social worker three times at one , six and twelve months during the one year period upon which you will be home, three more meetings with the social worker in following three years, who will offer support as well. You will also receive information on services your child may need, such as Early Intervention Services. In addition to our services, we will encourage all families to maintain close ties with their travel group. Your children will most likely know each other longer than you as adults will know them! CAWLI also has a yearly Chinese New Year's Party every February. This has become a wonderful event to gather all of our lovely families together. Last year we had over 1000 people enjoy great food, Chinese dancing, dragon dances, games, etc.