We pioneered international adoption 60 years ago and we remain the leaders today, uniting families with children who truly need them. We stand by adoptees and their families for their entire lives — providing world-class care to children waiting to come home, as well as resources, education tools and support to families and adult adoptees. You can rest assured that we are doing adoption the right way.
Since 1992, Holt International has placed more than 7,000 children from China with adoptive families in the U.S. And every year, we continue to unite well over 100 children from China with the loving families they deserve! While China's adoption program has evolved to meet the changing needs of the children it serves, it has remained stable, predictable and forward moving. Most importantly, many children are waiting for a loving adoptive family right now.
Yes. The majority of children in China waiting for families have some sort of medical or developmental special need. This is due to a number of factors. Namely, in recent years, China has eased their one-child-per-family policy, causing fewer families to abandon children. With China’ s growing economy, Chinese families also now have greater resources to care for their children — another factor that has contributed to fewer overall cases of child abandonment. Domestic adoption is also becoming increasingly common, allowing for children — primarily healthy infants — to join loving adoptive families in China before being considered for international adoption. However, many families are still unable to care for a child with special needs, leaving many children with special needs waiting for a loving adoptive family through international adoption. When applying, families determine their openness to age, gender and types of special needs.
Nearly half of the children Holt places from China have conditions that can either be corrected with surgery or managed with treatment, such as:
Families who are open to more involved special needs may be matched with a child with these types of conditions:
At this time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the length of time to adopt a child from China is not predictable. China is not allowing foreigners to enter China, so adoption travel is on hold. The information below pertains to wait times prior to the pandemic and will be updated once adoption travel resumes.
With Holt, the process to adopt a younger child with a correctable or manageable condition takes approximately 2 years from time of application to placement. The more flexible you are with age, gender and special needs, the sooner you will be matched. Families who are matched with a child featured on the Holt photolisting — a child with more complex special needs — often complete the process in about one year. Either way, China is one of the fastest and most stable adoption programs.
Holt International is a non-profit agency serving vulnerable children around the world. Holt's board of directors mandates that Holt’s adoption fees are completely transparent and in the low-mid range, compared with other agencies of our size and scope. We advise families to budget about $35,000 total for an adoption from China, which includes travel to China and all related adoption expenses between application and placement. Additionally, all in-country adoption costs are included in our China program fee. Holt wires these funds to China prior to the family's travel. Holt families are not required to personally make large cash payments while in China. Our fees are on par with, or less than, many of the leading agencies.
In June 2017, the Chinese government issued new eligibility requirements. These guidelines limit family size, restrict the age of the youngest child in the family, and require one year between adoptions. They also relaxed the length of marriage requirement, give singles more flexibility, and confirm that the Chinese adoption authorities are open to well-controlled mental health conditions in one or both parents. They now require that there be no more than 50 years between the age of the child and the younger parent.
China is one of the most flexible international adoption programs, so please talk with one of our China team members before ruling yourself out.
This approach doesn't work out for most families, and can actually be counterproductive. Not all children waiting for adoptive families have online profiles, so you are only seeing a very limited number of children in need of a family when you browse various China agency photolistings. In fact, most of the children with more minor special needs never appear on an agency photolisting, and per China's requirement, these children can only be matched with a family who has already sent their dossier to China. Your options will be broader and your process faster if you select an agency and begin your homestudy and dossier paperwork before identifying a child you wish to adopt. Families cannot be matched with a child or have a child's file held for them without an approved home study. If you see a child online who you are interested in adopting, but have yet to start the process with that agency, there may be other families with the agency who have begun or completed paperwork, which allows to move forward with the matching process.
Whether you are still gathering information or you feel ready to apply to adopt, we have many free ways for you to explore our programs or get started. For more information about adopting from Taiwan and Hong Kong, email Elizabeth Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice President, China Regional Programs
Jian loves to cook, eat, and garden. She especially loves to eat the food she cooks from her garden! Jian travels between China and the US often, and spends a lot of time navigating between cultures.
Jian oversees and directs all operations for the China program, supervising Holt staff in both the U.S. and China. She establishes and maintains communication flow between overseas programs and the Holt office in Eugene. Jian also builds collaborative relationships with child welfare and legal authorities overseas to ensure smooth operations between embassy and consulate staff in China and the US. In the US, she advocates for Holt families who are traveling overseas. She is the recipient of the 2005 Angels in Adoption Award.
Every day 2-year-old Shelby Jane spent in an orphanage in China, she grew weaker. She needed to join her adoptive family — and fast — but finances stood in the way. That’s when a Holt donor stepped in ...