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The Leader in China Adoption

As the pioneers in inter-country adoption (ICA), Holt has facilitated more successful adoptions than any other agency. We are unique. Unlike most adoption agencies, our work in China began with in-country programs and services for vulnerable children and families. We continue our commitment to China by uniting hundreds of children with adoptive families each year.
  • Leaders in ICA for nearly 60 years
  • Serving children and families in China since 1992
  • Aided the Chinese government's central adoption authority to establish a stable, ethical adoption system
  • Well respected by the China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) as the leading U.S. adoption agency
  • Developed model foster care programs for waiting children
  • Helped over 50,000 children through adoption and child welfare projects
  • More than 6,500 Chinese children placed with Holt families to date
  • Holt continues to place hundreds of children from China each year
Click to Read More from Holt Families!

What Sets Holt Apart

More than 20 years ago, Holt began working with the Chinese government to develop model foster care programs providing family-like alternatives for children in institutional care. The model was founded on the philosophy of affectionate, attentive care to nurture children's growth while they await permanent families. Over the next two decades, Holt replicated its child-centered model throughout China. Through the years, Holt has served over 50,000 children and families through adoption, foster care and other child-welfare services.

Holt strives to build trust and partnership with the Chinese government and orphanage administrators to improve the lives of children. Holt International Foundation of China is one of the only organizations based in the U.S. and legally registered in China to provide in-country child welfare services as well as adoption services. More on Holt's work in China

Holt's offices in Beijing and Guangzhou continue to oversee a growing number of projects including family preservation programs; short and long-term foster care and group homes; HIV support programs; vocational programs; support for Special Baby Care Units in orphanages; nutrition programs; and financial and medical assistance. Related links ... Meet our staff in China and US, Holt's childcare projects

China graph of number of children get care yearly

Adoptions from China: Then and Now

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Holt placed thousands of children in loving, permanent homes. At the time, the children were primarily healthy infant girls. Several factors changed the landscape of adoption from China in more recent years. China's economy has improved, which has enabled more children to remain in biological families and to join adoptive families in their birth country. Also, in the mid-2000s, the number of applications to adopt healthy infant children increased dramatically. Children with special needs began to outnumber others in need of adoption, the timeframe to adopt lengthened, and so fewer children came home to families in the U.S.

China began to advocate for children with special needs in 2008 by expediting the process. The special needs process takes Holt families 12 to 18 months, while the process to adopt a child with no known special needs has slowed to more than six years. Holt's China team created a program to promote the adoption of children with correctable or treatable medical conditions. Our program continues to receive top ratings from the CCCWA year after year. Today, boys and girls with correctable or manageable conditions, between the ages of 14-36 months old, comprise the majority of Holt's ICA placements from China.

To match children with families, we utilize the CCCWA's shared list as well as individual agency designations. When orphanages in China refer specific children to Holt for home-finding, we first try to match them with a family in process. If we do not find a family, we then feature the child on our China Photolisting. However, most families are matched directly with a child who has never appeared on Holt's photolisting.

Please take a moment to read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Holt's China program, review the China Eligibility Guidelines, and Learn about Holt's Fees.

Questions? Click here to contact a member of the China team now.


Pictured below are just a few of the many children who are currently designated to Holt and awaiting a family.

Click to visit Holt's photolisting of waiting children from China
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