December 11th, 2006
Posted By:
Categories: Chinese Red Tape

The Rumor Queen is reporting quite a bit on the latest word from the China Center for Adoption Affairs regarding stricter requirements for adopting families and longer waiting times.

I always sort of assume if you’re reading this and interested in this stuff, you’ve probably read it elsewhere, but this is a fairly big deal, so just in case — here’s what I’m talking about:

…[T]he number of dossiers is 2 times the number of children the CCAA has to place. The wait time from LID to referral will not shorten at this time and it may get longer. They note that the CCAA does not define what they mean by longer. I note that they don’t say the number of dossiers is twice the number of children, but twice the number of children the CCAA has to place – I believe we are still talking about paper ready children and not total children.

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And the following list of requirements will apply to applications submitted (logged in) after May 1, 2007:

* Married couples only. No singles. Agencies may continue to submit singles dossiers within their 8% constraints until May 1, 2007 and then the CCAA will not accept any more single dossiers.
* Married couples must be married over 2 years if there are no previous marriages. If there are previous marriages then the present marriage must be over 5 years. However, no more than two previous marriages will be allowed (it is unclear if this is two per person or two per couple)
* Each parent must be 30 to 50 years old. No parent can be outside of this range. Upper limit can be 55 for a family in the waiting child program (and that “can be” kind of looks like it’s going to be on a case by case basis, not an absolute, but it’s hard to tell).
* The CCAA wants healthy parents – no infectious disease, no mental disease (including depression or anxiety), no blindness, and no serious disease or disability. There is a note about waiting to see what the CCAA’s formal notice says, which sounds to me like they hope there will be more information in the formal notice about these things. There is another note that cancer was not specifically mentioned.
* Both parents must have a BMI under 40.
* At least one parent must have a stable job. Income requirement is $10,000 per family member including the child to be adopted.
* Family’s net assets must be over $80,000
* Each parent must have a high school education or higher.
* No more than five children in the home including the child to be adopted. The youngest child in the home must be over 1 year old. Exceptions will be considered for the waiting child program.
* No criminal record. There is a note about the CCAA not elaborating so we will again have to wait to see what the formal notice says.
* The CCAA fees are also changing – going from $410 to $620.

You’d be surprised how many prospective families try to slip around that “criminal record” requirement as it already stands. I suspect it’s a side effect of our ongoing War On Drugs, but yeah, it happens. Past episodes of depression also raise official eyebrows on a few home studies as it is, so if you’re paper-chasing, be aware of that and be prepared to use lots of words like “temporary” and “transient” and “successfully treated” on official forms, and avoid “chronic” altogether. You totally didn’t hear that from me, though. Bear in mind, also, that this refers to “depression” as something medically verifiable as an illness, not a perfectly normal, healthy reaction to any grim turn of events in your personal life, which might also commonly be called “depression.”

The weight requirement (BMI=Body Mass Index) is totally new, kind of fascinatingly unexpected, and speaks volumes about the world’s perceptions of Americans.

This list has been confirmed by a few agencies already, so it’s not just speculation.

Interestingly to me, the Rumor Queen also mentions the creation of a new category of children — not exactly Special Needs, but not exactly 100% healthy. Kids with low birth weight & developmental delays will fill the new category, which will cost as much as Non-Special Needs, but have a quick timetable like Special Needs.

I have to think about What This Means, and if it’s a good sign for the big picture (less need for international adopters), or if it’s just an economic tactic for driving up demand (and thus prices). The answer is most likely both and neither, what with the world being complicated like it is.

The developments here have, naturally, led to lots of online discussions here and elsewhere.

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