Member log in

Forgot your password? | Not a member? Join now

Criteria for adopting from China

China has very strict criteria for prospective parents wanting to adopt their children. You must ensure you fulfil the requirements before choosing to adopt from China.

Decorative photo for Criteria for adopting from China

UPDATE: Information regarding China is that CCCWA is currently matching PAPs who were registered in mid-January 2007.  Therefore there is a potential 10 year wait for adopt from China

To adopt from China you must fulfil the requirements of the UK government as well as those of China.

The China Centre for Children Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) is responsible for inter-country adoptions in China.


China is known for having healthy baby girls living in orphanages, but the reality is that children aged 0-14 of both genders are living in orphanages and are waiting for families. China still has a 'healthy child' adoption programme, but there are very few children now available for adoption. As a result, this programme has a very long wait list and can take around 5-6 years for families from the UK to adopt.


The China ‘special needs’ adoption programme is run by the China Centre for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA). It is currently a much bigger, faster and thriving programme. Children may be considered special needs because they had a corrected surgery at birth, because they have a birth mark, missing a finger, they were a premature baby…special needs doesn’t have to mean it will or should prevent a child from living a healthy life. 

List of Requirements

Age Requirements:

Both parents must be between the ages of 30 and 50.

Couples interested in adopting a special needs child must be between the ages of 30 and 55.

These ages will computed from the time that the CCCWA officially logs the adoption application documents when they reach China ie post UK process


Marriage Requirements:

Chinese law does not recognise civil partnerships.

Married couples must have been  married for at least two years.

If either partner has been divorced, the new couple must have been married for at least 5 years.

No more than two divorces are allowed.

Couples must adopt a child jointly.

Single people may adopt special focus children.



Family Requirements

The couple must be childless.  


Health Requirements

Both partners must be mentally and physically and mentally fit and not be suffering from any of the following conditions:


  • AIDS
  • Blindness in either eye
  • Body Mass Index of 40 or more
  • Chronic illnesses that require long-term treatment and which may affect life expectancy, including epilepsy, lupus, malignant tumours, nephrosis (?), epilepsy
  • Dysfunction of non-function of limbs or trunk cause by impairment, incomplete limbs, paralysis or deformation
  • Facial deformation of a serious nature
  • Hearing loss in both ears or loss of language function (except in the case of adopting a child with this same condition)
  • Infectious disease that is actively contagious
  • Mental disability
  • Mental disorders requiring  medication for more than two years - depression, mania, anxiety neurosis
  • Major organ transplant within ten years


Educational Requirements

Both prospective parents must have graduated from high school or have vocational training equivalent to a high school education


Income Requirements

At least one member of the couple must have a permanent and stable job.

The family's annual income must be at least $10000 for each person in the household (including the adopted child). This income is to exclude any benefits, pensions, unemployment insurance, government subsidies etc

The total value of the family assets must be at least $80,000.


Residency Requirements

You are not required to reside in China for a specified period prior to completing an adoption.


Other Requirements

Both parties must have a history of 'honourable behaviour' and 'good moral character' with no evidence of:

Domestic violence, sexual abuse, abandonment or abuse of children, use of drugs or any potentially addictive medication prescribed for mental illness or alcohol abuse (unless able to prove being sober for at least 10 years).

Neither partner may have a significant criminal record. Applicants with past criminal records will be considered on a case by case basis if there are fewer than three minor criminal convictions with none in the last 10 years and fewer than five minor traffic offences.


Join today graphic


Who are the children waiting to be adopted?

Find out here with the first in our International Adoption Dream series. 

Adoption News

Why UK has low Inter country adoption numbers

Published - Mar 23, 2017

Nepal to begin process to ratify Hague Convention

Published - Mar 14, 2017