America World is a China adoption agency and has seen thousands of families travel to China to bring their children home. While in-country, our experienced guides provide have navigated the adoption process for our families since 1994, allowing America World families to focus on their child. Learn more about how to adopt a child from China below. With over 4,600 children placed into forever families with the help of a staff of caring, loving professionals, America World's experience in international adoption is second to none.
In 1994, Brian and Renée Luwis traveled to China to adopt their first daughter, Fei. Overwhelmed with a loving desire to help the thousands of orphaned children find families of their own, they founded the America World Adoption Association (originally "America China Adoption Association" until 2001 when the Russia and Ukraine programs were added). Since then, nearly 3,000 orphans from China have been placed into loving Christ-centered families where they are now growing up in the love of Jesus Christ.
America World has had a long-standing great reputation with the China Center for Children's Welfare & Adoption (CCCWA) and authorities there. AWAA's in-country staff, who also travel with our families during their adoption in China, work directly with the CCCWA and orphanage directors to assist in finding homes for the children who wait.
Meet Baby Edward. What’s not to love about this tiny little guy and cute little face?
Edward is a sweet infant who just turned 7-months-old this past week! Edward, like any baby, loves his bottle of milk, and enjoys napping and being held by his caregivers.
Edward’s file notes that he has moderate sleep, can visually track objects/toys, and loves to lie on his bed and kick his feet. Like most babies, he likes sucking on his fingers. His medical exam, which was recorded when he was around 6-weeks-old, noted that everything medically looked good and he appeared healthy, but that he seemed to have slight low muscle tone and was diagnosed with Down syndrome.
We have team members who have also visited his orphanage and are able to share more about his orphanage with any family reviewing his file. Contact China@awaa.org for more information.
America World currently has profiles of Chinese Waiting Children who are ready for international adoption. You can request to view their profiles by visiting our Waiting Children web page. Waiting Children are children of all ages who have repaired or unrepaired medical needs or are older children (generally 8-13 years) with no known medical needs. Families interested in learning more about a child may submit a free pre-application to America World to verify qualification and to get access to review a child's complete file. China is now referring only waiting children to U.S. adoption agencies as Chinese domestic adoption system increases. The Waiting Child program can significantly decrease the China adoption wait time from previous China adoption wait times.
The process of adopting a child from China is divided into three main stages. The first stage involves assembling a collection of documents called a dossier. These documents must go through several levels of authentication by U.S. government offices so that they ultimately can be used as the legal framework for your adoption process. This stage is referred to as the "paper chase" or "paper pregnancy", and takes on average 4-6 months to complete. The finished dossier is mailed to America World where our staff carefully reviews it to ensure accuracy. Once approved, the dossier is forwarded to the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) for translation and processing. The CCCWA, or "Center" as it is sometimes called, is the federal agency which oversees all international adoption-related activities in China.
After your dossier is received by the CCCWA, you begin stage two, the waiting stage. The process of matching a family with a child is called the referral process. The wait time for a referral varies - please check our blog for the most up-to-date trends. The referral is comprised of several photos, a medical profile, a brief biography of the child’s life, a developmental and social report, as well as other general information. The waiting stage is a great time to research (China culture, bonding time with your adopted child, etc.), talk to adoptive families for tips and ideas, fundraise to help with adoption expenses, and prepare in general for your new addition.
Once you have accepted your referral, we begin planning the details of your travel, the third and final stage of your adoption process. Our travel department will handle all of the details for your family’s travel. Families generally leave for China approximately 2-3 months after they receive a referral and stay in China for roughly two weeks to complete the China adoption process. While in China, families are united with their child, complete their adoption paperwork, and tour some of the country’s rich cultural sites. Typically, America World families arrive in Bejing and meet up with other America World families in their group (group sizes vary). Sightseeing with your America World guide is next on the agenda so that families can experience China to share with their child. Some of the places that our families visit are the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and Summer Palace. After a day or two in Bejing, families travel to the province where their child is living to meet them.
The staff at America World is trained to handle every detail of your international adoption process and one of our experienced staff members will be assigned to your family as soon as your application is approved. America World Adoption has been working with the CCCWA since China first opened its doors to international adoption in the early 1990's and have placed over 2,900 Chinese children in loving homes.
Be sure to visit our Financing Adoption page to learn how to reduce or eliminate your China adoption expenses!