How to Obtain File Copies

If you were adopted through Holt International Children’s Services in the United States, Holt can provide copies of your child materials and other adoption-related documents. Adult adoptees may request copies of their child materials from their U.S. file, which are generally the same documents that were provided to your adoptive parents before you came home.

Occasionally, adoptive parents may receive additional information or documents while in China that were not provided to Holt. This can include anecdotal stories or photos from the foster family, case worker or orphanage. As these are provided directly to the parents while in country, we’re unable to replace lost items or contact these individuals directly.

This is the typical process for requesting file copies. Not every case is the same, and requesting file copies is completely optional:

What you do:

  • Complete the Request for Services online form and submit it.
  • Receive an email in 2-5 business days that confirms Holt facilitated your adoption and provides a link to the request for services form(s).  If your adoption was not facilitated by Holt, you’ll receive an email explaining this.
  • To request a copy of your U.S. child materials:
    • Print, complete and return the Request for Post Adoption Services by mail only. This form must be notarized.
    • Include a check payable to Holt International in the amount of $25. If this fee causes a financial hardship please contact Holt to discuss waiving the fee.
  • In approximately 4-6 weeks, you’ll receive an email with your U.S. child material attached.  Time frames may vary based on the number of service requests received and the time of year.  Your patience and understanding is appreciated.

NOTE: All forms must be mailed; no faxed or scanned copies of the forms will be accepted. Mailing instructions are included on the Post Adoption Services Request form.

What Holt will do:

  • Confirm that Holt facilitated your adoption, and that you are age 18 or over.
  • Email you the link to the request form(s) noted above.  If your adoption was not facilitated by Holt, you’ll receive an email explaining this.
  • Wait for your request form(s) and applicable fee to arrive by standard mail.
  • Retrieve your file from our off-site file storage, usually within 2-3 weeks of receipt of completed request forms.
  • Scan your U.S. child material and forward it to you via email, usually within 3-4 weeks of file retrieval. Time frames may vary.

Due to the very high volume of services we provide to adoptees, adoptive families, and birth families, response times can vary and may be longer than expected.  Files are not stored on-site and do take time to retrieve and review.  With limited staffing we are unable to update you when the request is received, or when the file arrives at our office.

What is in my U.S. file?:

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Generally, your U.S. file will contain photocopies of your Chinese legal documents, child progress reports from when you were in care in China, and the photo that was taken when you were admitted to the Holt program. All of these documents are referred to as your “child material.” Not all files are the same: some have more information, and some have less; every file is as unique as adoptees themselves. Holt’s files do not contain original adoption documents, copies of Chinese passports, or other immigration related documents.

Why is there a fee?:

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We request a $25 copy fee for each file to assist in defraying the costs of providing all post-adoption services to our adoptees, families, and birth families. If this fee poses a financial hardship, please notify the Post Adoption Services department. While we appreciate your support for our services, we don’t want the fees to be an obstacle, and will be happy to reduce or waive fees when needed.

Why does the form have to be notarized?:

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The Request for Post Adoption Services form requires you to sign the form in the presence of a Notary Public who will confirm your photo identification and witness your signature. We require this to ensure that the person requesting these sensitive documents is actually you. Most banks offer free or low cost notarization to their customers. You can also check with your employer as many businesses have a Notary Public in their personnel or financial departments. Please let us know if you have any questions about this process.


To request a copy of your file, we must first confirm that Holt International facilitated your adoption. Once this has been verified, you’ll receive an email and further instructions enabling you to request your file copies. File copies are scanned in color (in most cases) and forwarded via email unless instructed otherwise.