Adoption between the United States and China is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from China, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In addition to these U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, China also has the following requirements:
- Residency Requirements: China does not require that prospective adoptive parents reside in China for a specified period prior to completing an adoption. However, in order to finalize an adoption, at least one adopting parent must travel to China to execute the required documents in person before the appropriate Chinese authorities. If only one member of an adopting married couple travels to China, that person must have in his/her possession a power of attorney from the other spouse, notarized and authenticated by the Chinese Embassy in Washington or one of the Chinese Consulates General elsewhere in the United States.
- Age Requirements: Both parents must be between the ages of 30 and 50. Those couples who apply to adopt a special needs child must be between the ages of 30 and 55.
- Marriage Requirements: Chinese law only permits intercountry adoption by married couples, defined as one man and one woman. They must adopt the child jointly. In addition, they must have been married at least two years; if either person has previously divorced, the couple must have been married at least five years. No more than two divorces are allowed. Single Females may now adopt special needs children from China.
- Income Requirements: At least one member of the couple must have stable employment and the family’s annual income must equal at least $10,000 for each family member in the household (including the child to be adopted). Annual income excludes welfare, pensions, unemployment insurance, and government subsidies. The total value of the family’s assets must be at least $80,000. Both prospective parents must be high school graduates or have vocational training equivalent to a high school education.
- Health Requirements: Both partners must be physically and mentally fit, with none of the following conditions:
- Mental disability;
- Infectious disease that is actively contagious;
- Blind in either eye;
- Hearing loss in both ears or loss of language function (those adopting children with hearing or language function loss are exempted from this requirement);
- Non-function or dysfunction of limbs or trunk caused by impairment, incomplete limbs, paralysis or deformation;
- Severe facial deformation;
- Severe diseases that require long-term treatment and that may affect life expectancy, including malignant tumors, lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy, etc;
- Major organ transplant within ten years;
- Severe mental disorders requiring medication for more than two years, including depression, mania, or anxiety neurosis; and
- Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more
- Other Requirements: The family must have fewer than five children under the age of 18, and the youngest is at least one year old (those adopting special needs children are exempted from this requirement).Neither partner may have a significant criminal record, and both must have a history of honorable behavior and good moral character with no evidence of:
- Domestic violence, sexual abuse, abandonment or abuse of children;
- Use of narcotics or any potentially addictive medication prescribed for mental illness;
- Alcohol abuse, unless the individual can show she/he has been sober for at least ten years
Note: Applications from persons with past criminal records will be considered on a case-by-case basis if the individual has fewer than three minor criminal convictions (none in the last ten years) and fewer than five minor traffic violations.
The prospective parents must demonstrate the ability to provide a safe family environment capable of meeting the needs of an orphaned child and providing for her/his development, and an understanding of the special risks (including potential diseases, developmental delays, and post-placement maladjustment) that could come with inter-country adoption.
Prospective adoptive parents must provide an adoption application letter that makes clear the willingness to allow post-placement follow-ups and provide post-placement reports as required. (Compliance with post-placement and post-adoption reports is extremely important for continued close cooperation on adoption between the United States and China. In each instance above where a specific age or time span is cited, it will be computed from the time that the CCCWA officially logs the adoption application documents.
In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Ghana:
- Residency: Prospective adoptive parents must be resident in Ghana for a minimum of three months prior to the adoption of a child. The prospective adoptive parents may request a waiver of the residency requirement through the court. The courts may approve a waiver of the residency requirement with the recommendation of the Ministry of Social Welfare if it finds that to do so is in the best interests of the child.
- Age of Adopting Parents: Adopting parents must be 25 years of age and at least 21 years older than the child.
- Marriage: Generally, only married couples may adopt in Ghana. A single person may adopt only if that person is a citizen of Ghana. Single males may not adopt unless the child to be adopted is his child or the courts determine that special circumstances apply. Same-sex couples may not adopt from Ghana.
- Income: Applicants must be gainfully employed.
- Other: The Department of Social Welfare in Ghana requires that applicants must be of sound mind and must undergo a medical exam as part of the pre-approval process. Applicants must also prove their ability to care for a child that may be socially and culturally different from themselves and who may have experienced trauma due to family deaths, institutionalization, neglect, etc.
To bring an adopted child to United States from Liberia, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Liberia also has the following eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
- Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for intercountry adoptions in Liberia.
- Age Requirements: There are no age requirements for intercountry adoptions in Liberia.
- Marriage Requirements: There are no marriage requirements for intercountry adoptions in Liberia. If you are married, both parents must adopt the child.
- Income Requirements: There are no income requirements for Liberian intercountry adoptions.
Adoption between the United States and Peru is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Peru, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Peru also has the following eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
- Residency Requirements: There is no minimum residency requirement for intercountry adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents can travel to Peru, remain in Peru to complete the adoption, and travel back to the United States without fulfilling a minimum residency period. Although both adoptive parents do not need to be present in Peru for the entire processing time, both must be present for the provisional placement, evaluation, and ratification of the adoption through the court.
- Age Requirements: The age and civil status of the prospective adoptive parents determines the age range of the adopted child:
- Married parents between 25 and 43 years old may adopt children up to the age of three.
- Married parents between 44 and 50 years old may adopt children between three and six years of age.
- Married parents between 51 and 55 years old may adopt children age six and older.
- Single parents between 35 and 50 years old may adopt children age five and older.
- Marriage Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents can be married or single.
- Income Requirements: There are no specific income requirements; however, prospective adoptive parents will have to provide documentation detailing their current income.
- Other Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents must pass a psychological evaluation.
NOTE:Only those adoptions executed through the administrative law process of MIMDES can be certified as Hague compliant. Adoptions executed through the judiciary, while legal in Peru, cannot be Hague certified, and therefore cannot be issued Hague Convention visas. Prospective adoptive parents of dual or mixed American and Peruvian nationality who wish to adopt a blood relative and travel to the United States with the adopted child should ensure that the adoption process complies with the Hague Adoption Convention.
In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Serbia:
- Residency: There are no residency requirements for adoption; however, current law gives priority to prospective parents who are of Serbian origin.
- Age of Adopting Parents: Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 18 years older than the child, but no more than 45 years older.
- Marriage: If there are two prospective adoptive parents, they must be married. A common-law marriage can qualify. Single prospective adoptive parents are also eligible to adopt a child in Serbia with special approval from the Ministry. Same-sex couples are not permitted to adopt.
- Income: Serbian Family Law does not specify income requirements. The adoption authority relies on the U.S. home study when determining the eligibility of prospective adoptive parents.
- Other: Prospective adoptive parents who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder or infectious disease are disqualified from adopting.
- Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, with the intention of returning for the child when they are able to do so. In such cases, the birth parent(s) rarely would have relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Ukraine, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. government. The U.S. government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In addition to these U.S. requirements for adoptive parents, Ukraine also has the following requirements for adoptive parents:
• Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for intercountry adoption from Ukraine.
• Age Requirements: Under a Ukrainian law which came into effect on April 24, 2008, prospective adoptive parents must be at least 21 years old, and at least 15 years older, but not more than 45 years older than the adopted child. If only one of the adoptive parents complies with these age requirements, the adoption can be completed in the eligible parent’s name only. If the child is being adopted by a relative, the age difference is not considered.
• Marriage Requirements: Foreign citizens must be married in order to be eligible to adopt from Ukraine.
• Income Requirements: While there are no specified income requirements, prospective adoptive parents are required to submit documentation identifying their income/financial standing.
• Other Requirements: Please also see the section listing the documents required for an adoption from Ukraine. Note also the new homestudy requirements as of December 1, 2008, listed in that section.