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.
China is a country whose culture dates back to the earliest records known to man. At first glance, some of China's beliefs may seem quite different than those we hold in the western world. One example of this is the cultural preference for a male child. There are several reasons why Chinese families might prefer a boy over a girl. In rural provinces, a family's livelihood depends directly on the output of its family members. Because of this, a family with sons would be at a considerable advantage over one with daughters. Historically, it is also the son's honored responsibility to take care of his parents in their old age. A daughter, however, would be expected to care for her husband's parents rather than her own. In this regard, the Chinese believe that having a son is crucial to their livelihood, as well as a form of social security for the parents when they grow older. Although China has done much to change these belief systems in recent years, many families, especially in rural areas, still strongly favor the birth of a male child. This situation is further complicated by China's One-Child Policy, which prohibits families from having more than one child. As a result of this policy, there are potentially thousands of abandoned children throughout China.PROCESS
The China adoption process 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 certification so that they ultimately can be used as the legal framework for your adoption process. This stage is referred to as the "paper chase," and takes on average 4-6 months to complete. The finished dossier is forwarded to America World where our staff carefully reviews it to ensure accuracy. Once approved, your 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. This phase may be the most difficult stage for families, as the wait time can be frustrating. The process of matching a family with a child is called a referral. The wait time for a referral varies - please check our blog
for the most up-to-date trends. The referral is composed of a medical profile of a child, a brief biography of his or her life and at least two photographs. Once you have accepted your referral, we begin planning the details of our travel, the third and final phase of your adoption process. Families normally leave for China approximately 3-6 months after they receive a referral and stay in China for roughly two weeks. While in China, families complete the adoption paperwork, become united with their child, and tour some of the country’s rich cultural sites.
The staff at America World is trained to handle every detail of your adoption process and one of our experienced staff members will be assigned to your family as soon as your application is approved. America World has been working with the CCCWA since China first opened its doors to international adoption in the early 1990's. We have placed over 2,500 Chinese children in loving homes, and have several hundred families currently in the process for the China program.China Waiting Children