your china adoption questions – answered

I feel like I can say this now – because my husband and I have now been on “both sides of the fence”, not because we’re experts either because ha, we’re far from that! We’ve been only home 3 months going on 4 with our sweetie.

However we’ve already been bombarded with numerous comments and questions concerning our adoption. Some of them have been plain awesome good ones, some snarky, some naive, and some just completely said out of basic curiosity.

I’ve seen the ‘adoption circle’  become offended way too often at the questions that come their way. And I’ll be honest, there have been handful of those few comments or questions that have made me pick my jaw up off the floor. But truly, when it comes down to it, I don’t believe the majority of the population is out to crush the hearts of adoptive families, or their children. The world is just plain curious about adoption! And as a believer in Jesus Christ, and a mother through adoption and birth – I’m considering it a privilege and a grand opportunity to share with others that motherhood is a privilege, a gift, a joy, and our children are very much great blessings! And no matter where we are in the motherhood journey (or life) – we have an opportunity to shine forth Jesus Christ through our actions.

So, I’d like to encourage you to not cringe or cower. Let the questions pour in, even the ones that may not have been so carefully thought out before spoken. Because it’s our chance to SHINE CHRIST, and share this gift and blessing of adoption and plain old-fashioned motherhood (homeschooling… or whatever road you’re traveling down right now!). 

Questions and comments are an opportunity to SHINE and GROW, and point life to JESUS CHRIST.

 

Lately I’ve been hearing the questions and the comments concerning adoption, I’m TOTALLY understanding what people are asking, because I was there once! (And good grief, I’m still asking questions myself!) Each question, no matter how it comes across is important. It’s a chance to share love and educate on whatever topic I’m being asked. I can choose to be “offended” and let the looks and stares and questions bother me, or I can view it as another way to share the love of Jesus through my responses, and smiles.

So, last week I set myself up in a vulnerable position, and asked each of you, for your China adoption questions. It was fun!

 

 

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Comment made after I posted an article on China hitting their ONE MILLION orphan mark.

COMMENT: “And yet adoption is so difficult.” – Elise
ANSWER: Actually China is one of the ‘easiest’ places to adopt. They now allow older ages of potential parents. The process is one of the quickest and sadly the process is often easier then adopting in the states. Money might be the only issue. However, that was the only thing that was holding my husband and I back from adoption for years. After much prayer and a very small savings we walked out in faith. Just one day before traveling to get our sweetie – we were 100% funded! If you’re willing to faithfully obey – if He’s led your family to adoption, He will show Himself faithful.

 

Q: If there are so many orphans – why are there so many restrictions involved? – Jenifer
A: The requirements are in place to protect the children. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, but the process will be over before you know it, and you’ll also find yourself looking back – saying “hey, look what the Lord brought us through!” It’s an up and down ride but, SO worth the prize at the end! Just remember your child/children are worth every paper cut you endure, every tear you shed, every document you sign and mail! Just like a pregnant Momma get’s through the morning sickness, you’ll get through the paperwork and all the restrictions!

 

Kaifeng 2013 Christmas Picture

 

Q: What is the average processing time for a China adoption? – Amy
A: From the start of the official application through dossier submission, it takes an approximate average of 4-7 months. The wait time for a Child’s referral varies. After a child’s referral is accepted by you and your approval from China is received, the wait time to travel is within 2-4 more months. So on average, a China adoption is a one year process. But take into account, every process is different. China’s is probably the most consistent than any other international adoption around the world.

 

Q: My husband and I are 28 and 30, how old do potential parents have to be to adopt from China? – Tasha
A: The Minimum age has recently been lowered to 30 at time of your dossier submission. (However, you can start the process at 29 ½) There cannot be more than a 50 year age difference between the child and the youngest applicant. And by law, Chinese children must be adopted before the age of 14.

 

Q: My husband and I have both been through divorces. Would China have an issue with that? – Sara May
A: Divorce is permitted (however – no more than two divorces per spouse).  Married heterosexual couples must be married at a minimum of 2 years. (However, if you’ve not been previously married – you can start the China adoption Process at a minimum of 18 months at time of official application – you must be married 2 years at time of a Child’s match though.) If you’ve been previously married you can start your application process at 4.5 years – (and you must be married 5 years or more at time of Child’s match.) Single heterosexual women can adopt and age between single adopter and child can be no more than 45 years. There are more requirements for single woman. But unaware which ones there are.

 

Q: We have 7 biological children in our home. Is it even worth checking into a China adoption with the number of children we already have? – Lauren
A: Right now there are no restrictions on family size for married couples. {It was max 5 children when my husband and I started our adoption process – and we were at 5.} You could get special permission to adopt if you had more, but not sure what process you had to go through. So glad they’ve changed the limit. 🙂

 

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Q: My husband and I are on a fixed one income budget. What is China’s financial requirements to adopt? – Shannon
A:That’s a great question, Shannon! Current requirement is $10,000 per family member living in the home (including the child to be adopted), and the minimum is $80,000 net worth (total assets minus total liabilities). There are flexibilities for families in regions with lower costs of living (however – if you don’t meet this requirement, contact your potential adoption agency, there are some exceptions!)

 

Q: My husband has a minor record with the law when he was a young teenager, what does China allow for criminal history? – Kristie
A: China does not allow any  kind of criminal history in the past 10 years. Minor instances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. No alcohol abuse within past 10 years, and no history of drug use or experimentation. No history of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or child abuse is allowed.

 

Q: I’ve heard China has education requirements you must follow? My husband has never been to college and I had 2 years but no degree. Would we even be considered for a China adoption? – Jamie
A: Yes, you are correct, Jamie. However, no degrees or college is required. Both spouses must have a high school diploma or equivalent to one.

 

Q: I’ve had a lot of health issues for years and still take medication for an issue. What does the health status for potential parents look like for China? – Maria
A: Excellent question, Maria! Each potential parent must be in good physical and mental condition. If diagnosed with anxiety, depression, mania, phobia, or OCD, they must be under good control with a small dose of medication and have a positive physician’s letter. If one parent has (or has had) cancer, lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, hearing or language function impairment, or organ transplant within the last ten years, it must be under good control AND the other parent must be healthy with no signs of the same issues. You cannot have significant vision loss, limb impairment or paralysis, schizophrenia, or infectious diseases (such as HIV). Your body Mass Index (BMI) must be under 40.

 

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Q: If you adopt from China, do you have to travel there or is it an option? Just wondering if we didn’t it would significantly drop the financial process to adopt? – Deb
A: Yes, at least one parent must be able to travel to pick up your child. However, having both parents present does speed up some of the paper work process. An average stay is 12-15 days. However, things do occur but is rare with a China adoption. Like I mentioned above, they are very consistent with the process. Traveling to China also allows you to experience your child/children’s culture. You may or may not ever be able to go back. Use the travel time as a collecting of memories time. Take in the culture, snap as many pictures and videos as you can – and if you have the opportunity visit places with your child, even if you are tired. These pictures and places will be part of their story.

 

Q: My husband and I are different races. He’s of caucasian and I’m hispanic, does this matter in a China adoption?  – Vanna
A: No, your race does not matter. The only requirement is that at least one parent is a US citizen.

 

Q: You’ve mentioned ‘Special Needs’ several times, what kind of ‘Special Needs’ are you talking about? – Chesiree
A: Yes, special needs varies from a child being anemic, to a deformed or missing limb, to major heart & health issues. Mild to major needs that are correctable – with a few that are not correctable. The biggest population of China’s orphans today are considered ‘Special Needs’. If you enter the adoption process for a “healthy” child – you could be waiting up to years! (Right now the wait is 7+ years wait for a “healthy” child under 2.) So many children of ALL ages needing families simply because they have a health issue. There are healthy children who are aging out of their orphanages too! Every child deserves the love of a Mom and a Dad!

 

Q: If this is too personal of a question I understand. How much did it cost your family to adopt your little girl? Or can you at least give me approximately how much money my husband and I would be looking at to adopt from China? – Angela
A:
I love your brave, honest soul! 😉 You can view our every dollar and cent spent on our adoption expenses page here. And our expenses were $1,822.77 over the estimated cost of our adoption agencies fee estimates. But, we included every penny spent like I said. Including our postal fees for our documents etc… Our agency had no hidden fees or surprises! 

 

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A: If you don’t mind me asking, how did you raise funds for your adoption? – Jenny
Q: Jenny, first of all, I want to remind you and anyone desiring to go through the adoption process, to remember don’t let the amount keep you from adopting. That’s what held my husband and I back for years! Bathe your adoption in prayer! One of the first things we ever did with our adoption was not ask for money. (We’d been in that position and it was uncomfortable and really turned us away.) HOWEVER, we did write a letter asking for friends and family to sign up for our adoption prayer team. This helped announce our adoption to those who didn’t know we were in the process, but it also gave others a chance to be apart of it through prayer. Prayer and God’s will was our main focus throughout our whole adoption process. We had family and friends follow on our Adoption Facebook Page the whole process, as well as our blog here. We were overwhelmed with friends and family who wanted to know where we were financially in the process. And we began sharing our adoption expenses as money started coming in for our adoption. We believe this allowed people to see what was going on, they knew where their money was going, and they could follow the process as we got closer and closer to our goal. As for fundraising the only “fundraising” that we did was a Both Hands Project, right before we traveled. If we could have done that differently – we would have done that near the middle of our adoption process. We did try a T-Shirt fundraiser but everyone kept saying they would rather give us the money than only have us receive part of the t-shirt sales! We did sell some baked goods, natural cleaners and essential oils. We also sold custom necklaces we made through our small business, and now offer our Hands & Feet Program where families can earn money for their own adoption process! We also applied for several grants. And these were also helpful in our adoption process. We still are in awe of how God provided for our adoption process, even in a time of slow work for my husband! I think it was God’s way of saying – “look what I can do, when you put your full trust in me, and my provision for your family!” Just one day before travel we were 100% fully funded! 

 

Q: How do we get started in a China adoption? – Leslie
A: 1. The very first step is to do some research by sending requests for informational packets from Adoption Agencies that stuck out to you during your online research. Pray about what agency would best fit for your family. 2. Submit a formal adoption application with agency of your choice. 3. Fill out and submit a Medical Conditions Checklist (MCC). This will get you on the list right away for children waiting. Who knows you may be called with a referral before you know it! But don’t lose hope if it’s later than expected. God has the right Child for you and your family. A perfect match!

 

Q: Did the agency you used require an amount in a savings account or a specific amount income per year? – Nick & Jessica
A: No there is no required amount needed in your savings account. However, there are fees and charges due at different times. We were easily informed of what the next payments where due in advance via their friendly and easy to maneuver private area of their website. Just one of the many reasons we fell in love with the CCAI family was the very fact they were very thorough in their fees and charges. There were no surprises throughout the whole process. And we liked that! We wanted to know up front what amount we were looking at. After much research CCAI was the only adoption agency that just laid it all out there on the table. We never felt pushed or prodded. And their packet was FILLED to the brim of information, including an informational CD and the book Bound by Love – it pulled us in! 😉 And hearing Joshua’s testimony (the owner of the CCAI organization) makes you stand in awe of God and His greatness!

 

 

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(Our Daughter at 11 months – just 21 days before she was ours on paper.)

 

I can’t stress enough to each of you considering adoption wherever it may be – China, domestic etc… the Lord opened the door for my husband and I, we walked through, and believed He would provide for our every need. We were overwhelmed throughout our process how simple faith in our ultimate provider – brings abounding blessings beyond our imagination or expectations. During the process the Lord opened our hearts to new things, new passions and aching hearts and tears for a people, another country that needs Jesus more than ever before. A desire to help more children find their families, and during the process find the love of Jesus!

Adoption is a beautiful thing. And I’m telling you – just like giving birth biologically, it brings challenges – but it’s SO worth the pain, the tears and extra amount of joy that accompanies with having another child in your arms to love, and cherish.

You can read about our families adoption journey here!
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