China hero


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. 

About Chinese Adoption

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.

Featured Waiting Child:  "Henry"

China Waiting Child

We’d like to introduce you to Henry, an adorable boy our One Orphan mission teams met and spent time with in China. This team collected additional notes and information about him and they describe him as independent, shy at first but will connect quickly, really sweet, and speaks and interacts with his peers well. His caretakers also state that he is shy and sometimes quiet, but as you can see from his photos, this boy has the sweetest and biggest smile! He lives in the orphanage, attends school and gets along well with others and loves to dance.

Henry just turned eight and though his medical exam notes are from two years ago, his medical file notes that he has been diagnosed with Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and his file noted rectal prolapse (file doesn’t note any current issues and it was recently confirmed he has normal bladder and bowel control and no surgeries have been needed to date). His left eyelid is noted to have ptosis (droopy eyelid). A recent update noted that he does well in school and is working on writing skills, but is slightly behind other children his age.

Henry’s file is from one of our orphanage partnerships and is designated as Special Focus, meaning a family at any stage of the process or even just now considering adoption, is eligible to review his file. If you are interested in learning more about Henry, please contact us at

If you are interested in adding Henry to your family the next step is to contact a family coordinator.  Please call (800) 429-3369 or Contact Us to learn more about Henry.

Waiting Children: Older and Medical Needs Adoption

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.

China's International Adoption Process

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!