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Adoption of Children in China by Foreigners

Updated : May 13, 2020 L M S

Adopter shall meet simultaneously the following requirements:

1.Childless;

2.Capable of raising and educating the adoptee;

3.Suffering no such disease which is medically regarded as unfit for adopting a child; 

4.Having reached the age of 30.

Orphans, disabled children, or abandoned infants and children whose parents cannot be ascertained or found and who are under the care of a social welfare institution may be adopted irrespective of the restrictions that the adopter shall be childless and that he or she can adopt one child only.

II. With regard to the adoption of a child in China by a foreigner, an adoption application shall be transmitted by the relevant government or the adoption organization entrusted by the relevant government to the adoption organization entrusted by the Chinese Government, accompanied by a report on the adopter's family background and relevant certificates.

The adopter's application, family background report and certificates prescribed in the preceding paragraph refer to the following documents notarized by the notary office or a notary of the country of his habitual residence and authenticated by the foreign affairs ministry or the agency authorized by the foreign affairs ministry of the country of his habitual residence and by the Embassy or Consulate of China in the country concerned: Application for transnational adoption;

1. Birth certificate

2. Marital status certificate

3. Certificates of profession, income and property

4. Health examination certificate

5. Certificate of criminal report

6. Certificate of child adoption approval issued by the competent authorities of the adopter’s country of habitual residence;

7. Family background report, including the status of the adoption applicant, the qualification and appropriateness of the adoption, family conditions health history, adoption motive and features suitable for the care of the child.

With regard to the adoption of children in China by foreigners who have continuously lived in China for work or study for over one year, a marital status certificate, certificates of profession, income and property, and certificate of criminal record issued by his unit in China, and health certificate issued by a medical unit at or above the county level in China, shall be submitted, in addition to the submission of the application, family background report and certificates prescribed in the preceding paragraph.

3. After having examined the adoption application and relevant certificates submitted by a foreign adopter and by referring to the desire of the foreign adopter, the Chinese adoption organization shall select a suitable adoptee from among the adoptees who are recommended by the civil affairs department of the people's government of a province and who meet the requirements stipulated in the Adoption Law, and shall, through the foreign government or foreign adoption organization, send to the foreign adopter the information about the adoptee and the placing person. If the adoption is agreed to by the foreign adopter, the Chinese adoption organization shall send him or her a notice to come to China for adoption of a child.

4. The adopter should go to the provincial Department of Civil Affairs with the notice, two ID photos, and the passport for adoption registration. The adoption should also be notarized in the provincial Public Notary Office. The adoptee’s passport is issued in the local public security bureau of the registered permanent residence of the adoptee.

A foreign married couple must come to China together to go through the adoption formalities. If one of the spouses cannot come to China, a general power of attorney, which is notarized in their resident country and approved by their home government and the Chinese embassy in their resident country, should be delivered.

So far, foreign residents from the following 17 countries can apply for child adoption in China:

The United States, the Great Britain, Canada, France, Netherland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Singapore, Iceland and Italy

Registration of Foreign-related Adoption

Relevant policy: the Adoption Law of People’s Republic of China and the Implementation Measures of the Registration of Adoption of Children by Foreigners in China

Flowchart of the procedures

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The department in charge: Office of Social Affairs (Office of Adoption Registration)

Contact Person: Zhu Jungeng, Tian Lijun

Telephone: 0571-87050925, 0571-87050928

Supervising department: Office of the Department Inspection Commissioners

Complaints: 0571-87050288