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Update: China Eligibility

Dear Families,

This morning we received the following notice from the CCCWA (China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption) regarding the newest ​updates to the China Adoption ​eligibility regulations.

Although we have our reservations regarding some of the changes that are being made​, we are actively reaching out to the CCCWA to seek further clarification in order to best counsel each of our adoptive families. While most of the eligibility requirements have remained the same, we anticipate that some of the changes made will impact families that are currently in process.

Please know that the Waiting Children that we advocate for and our adoptive families  are our top priorities, and we will continue to ​push forward as we seek the best solution for each family.

We are compiling a list of questions for the CCCWA to clarify some of the points mentioned ​ in the update​. If you are a current family in process that we foresee this effecting​,​ ​our caseworkers will be reaching out to discuss your case.   Please understand there are a number of families we are currently trying to communicate with and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

We know that more changes outside of eligibility are likely on the horizon for China adoption. We are at a place in which we could easily be discouraged​, however, ​throughout the past 21 years ​that ​GWCA has been working with China we have always found a way to continue to help the children waiting. Our passion, our mission, and our hearts are devoted to bringing orphans their forever families and nothing will stop us from continuing that mission.

Please read the below statement from the CCCWA:

 

Review Points for Decision on the Eligibility of Foreigners Adopting from China

 Relevant government departments and adoption agencies in receiving states,

In order to further promote the scientific and standardized level of inter-country adoption, and implement our working principle “everything for the children”, we have refined and improved the review points for deciding the eligibility of foreigners adopting from China, in accordance with theConvention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, andMeasures for Registration of Adoption of Children by Foreigners in the People’s Republic of China, as well as the practice of paper review of CCCWA.

Ⅰ. Age

1. The prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) should reach the age of 30, and the age difference between the PAP and the adoptee should be not more than 50 years.

2. When a couple adopts together, the age difference should be counted based on the age of the younger party.

Ⅱ. Marital Status

1. The PAP(s) should be a couple of one male and one female, or a single female with no homosexual tendency.

2. In the adoption by a couple (couple adoption), the PAPs should have a stable marital status, either party should have not more than 2 divorces. If one party has no divorce history or 1 divorce, their current marriage should last not less than 2 years. If one party has 2 divorces, their current marriage should last not less than 5 years.

3. In calculating the marriage lasting time for PAPs, the time living together before their marriage can be included. When calculating the number of divorces, widow and remarriage after divorce are not included.

Ⅲ. Health Conditions

The PAPs should be physically and mentally fit, with the ability to raise and educate the adoptee, but without any of the following conditions:

(1) Intellectual disability;

(2) HIV positive, or infectious disease that is actively contagious;

(3) Schizophrenia;

(4) Mental disorder including mania, depression, bipolar affective disorder, anxiety and phobia, etc. PAP(s) with minor symptoms and are under good control by taking medicine, assessed by a psychological professional as having no effects on their normal work and life and fit to care and educate the adoptee, will be exempt from this limitation;

(5) Binocular blindness, binocular low vision or monocular blindness with no ocular prosthesis;

(6) Severe facial deformation;

(7) Binaural hearing loss or language function loss; PAPs who adopt children with identical conditions, or with one party of a couple healthy will be exempt from this limitation;

(8) Non-function or dysfunction of limbs or trunk caused by impairment, incomplete limb, paralysis or deformation;

(9) Diseases that require long-term treatment, and have bad prognosis which will affect PAPs’ child care ability such as lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.; In a couple adoption, if one party is completely healthy and the other suffers any of such diseases but is under good control after treatment, they will be exempt from this limitation if they can provide a doctor’s note to attest that the illness has no effects on their normal work and life and fit for caring the adoptee;

(10) Skin cancer, thyroid cancer, breast cancer and testicular cancer that has been cured for less than 3 years; other kinds of cancer or malignant tumor that has been cured less than 5 years;

(11) Vital organ transplant within 10 years; In a couple adoption, if one party is healthy and the other party had organ transplant within 10 years but has recovered to live a normal life, they will be exempt from this limitation;

(12) BMI (BMI=weight (kg)/ height2 (m2) )≥40;

(13) Short stature or dwarfism; PAPs who adopt children with identical conditions will be exempt from this limitation.

Ⅳ Educational background

The PAPs should have received senior high school education or above, or vocational and technical skills education of the same level.

Ⅴ. Family Financial Conditions

1. The PAPs (at least one party of a couple in a couple adoption) should have stable occupation and income. The per-capita annual income of a family including the prospective adoptee should reach 10,000 USD; When calculating the family per-capita annual income in an adoption by a single parent, the number of family members should be one more than the actual family member number after adoption

2. Couple adoption’s family net worth should reach 80,000 USD, and single adoption’s family net worth should reach 100,000 USD.

3. Welfare allowance such as relief fund, pension, disability benefits, adoption subsidy, foster care subsidy and disabled child subsidy, etc. are not included in the family annual income.

4. Proper relaxation can be granted to foreigners living in China on the aspects of family annual income and net worth.

Ⅵ Moral Characters

The PAPs should have no record of criminal penalties, have good moral characters, honorable behaviors and abide by laws and regulations, without any of the following circumstances:

(1) a history of domestic violence, sex abuse, abandonment/abuse of children (even if they were not arrested or convicted);

(2) a history of taking drugs including opium, morphine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, smokable methamphetamine and etc;

(3) a history of alcohol abuse and have stopped drinking for less than 10 years.

Adoption application will be given due consideration when the PAPs have had no more than 3 criminal records with minor violations and no severe outcomes, and the time for correction has reached 10 years; or have had no more than 5 records of traffic law violation with no severe outcomes.

Ⅶ Children in the House

1. The adoption of orphans, disable children, or abandoned infants and children whose parents cannot be ascertained or found, are not subject to the requirement that the adopter should be childless.

2. The PAPs should have enough time and energy to take care of the minors in the house including the prospective adoptee. In a couple adoption, the number of minors living in the house of the PAPs should be not more than 5; in a single adoption, the number of minors in the house of the PAPs should be not more than 2.

3. The youngest child in the house should reach 3 years old.

Ⅷ Adoption Frequency and Numbers

1. Adopters should submit post placement reports as required after the adoption; There should be a 1 year interval between the second adoption application and the previous one (from the registration date of the previous adoption to the current adoption application date).

2. In principle, the PAPs should adopt 1 child from China at a time.

3. In a couple adoption, if adoptee is a twin or multiple births or have siblings, the adoption will be exempt from the limitation of item 2.

Ⅷ Others

1. The PAPs should receive pre-adoption training to have a correct cognition and understanding of the possible risks of inter-country adoption, be fully prepared for the adoption and care of the adoptee. The PAPs should promise in the inter-country adoption application letter that they will not abandon or maltreat the child to be adopted, and will submit post placement reports as required.

2. As for PAPs residing in countries other than their birth country, if they intend to apply to adopt from China, they should reside in countries which have cooperative relationship with China in inter-country adoption, or in contracting states of the Hague Convention.

3. This document does not apply to stepchild adoptions. As for the adoption of a child belonging to a collateral relative by blood of the same generation and up to the third degree of kinship, relaxation will be granted properly.

4. Time or age is calculated based on the adoption application dossier’s log-in-date at CCCWA.

5. This document shall enter into force as of the date of issuance. In the event of any inconsistency between this document and previous CCCWA regulations or notices, the review points of this document shall apply.

China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption

 

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The holidays are upon us and GWCA/CAN is proud to announce the launching of our newest program, the J.O.Y. Initiative (Journey for Orphaned Youth)

Our J.O.Y. (Journey for Orphaned Youth) Advocacy Initiative is a special, one-week program that occurs three times a year. A small group of families will travel together to China to meet a child waiting for a forever family. It’s an amazing chance to connect with a child, see the world the children live in, and create an amazing opportunity for a forever family. Families interested in the JOY Advocacy Initiative should have a strong intention of adoption or established interest in advocating for orphans.

Much like our Home Orphan Hosting China Program, the children in our JOY Initiative have often lived in orphanages most of their lives. Though usually well-cared for, these children have almost never experienced a sense of family and have lacked access to basic needs like general medical care, good nutrition, and education.

The children in our JOY Initiative are extra-special! These are children who may not be eligible for hosting either due to age or need, and families are able to meet their potential forever child through this experience. Every opportunity we provide to our children from China is another chance for them to find the love, comfort, and permanency a family can provide.

We are currently seeking families to join us on our Inaugural JOY Initiative Trip this Spring. Visit our photo listing today. Families interested in learning more can contact Cayce or Shannon via email or by phone, 512-323-9595 Ext 3101 to learn more.

JOY

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Orphan Hosting Arrival Makes Houston News

This summer’s hosting adventure has officially begun! Kayley, Cayce, and I began the journey Sunday afternoon on the drive from Austin to Houston. We wanted to hit the road early to be ready first thing Monday morning refreshed and ready to go with plenty of time to spare. Lists in hand, families ready to go, we braced ourselves for what we knew was going to be an unforgettable day.

Bright and early, we hit the ground running, barely containing our composure as our anxiety, eagerness, and nervousness began to build. News stations had gotten word of our program and were already calling us for details about the day. That’s when the excitement really set in – this is really happening! The kids are COMING! We must have shouted it at least a dozen times in the car as we made our way to IAH that incredible day.

20150720_131003We did a quick drive through to determine what the terminal distance looked like and what we were likely facing. So many questions ran through our heads: would the kids be able to get from the international terminal to the domestic in time? What about the delay we knew about that had set the children back about an hour? Kayley and Cayce stopped off at the domestic terminals to pick up gate passes from the incredibly helpful staff at the IAH Airport, and I headed over to the International Arrivals pickup where I knew families would be arriving in just a few hours to meet hteir children. A long time family friend of mine also showed up – it’s amazing how much support these incredible children have throughout our communities.

We found the perfect area to hang the banner, moved some seating around, and made ourselves at home. United was INCREDIBLE issuing us gate passes in order to escort the little ones, and boy that was a relief! With three groups departing from Houston to continue on their last leg of their journey to their host families, we knew we needed to help get the children where they needed to go as quickly as possible. Settled in, we began reflecting: 30 kids, 4 adult chaperones, 16 families, 3-4 news crews, ok… we can do this! At one point, Cayce and I checked our heart rates (well over 100!) and took a deep breath to steady our nerves.20150720_160436

It seemed as though traffic was everywhere around Houston and two families were stuck on their way from Dallas, the entire freeway was shut down. We tried to ease their nerves, knowing that their anticipation of meeting their kiddos and the stress of being late would be so much to bear.

20150720_141313Just as families started to arrive, the media began to show up, too! News stations from different parts of Texas could not believe how many stories each one of our families had to tell about their journey. We stated over and over again, EVERY hosting program has these same types of families – ones with big hearts who are willing and ready to help the children who need it most in these orphanages.

After waiting, watching, and hoping, finally it happened! The kids landed at 4:28 pm (we know because we kept staring at the clock!), almost an hour late. Just in time, one of the families who had been stuck in the Dallas traffic arrived. We soon began lining up to wait from them to come through the door of the customs check, not one of us wanting to miss the arrival of the kiddos through the door. We waited 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes. Obviously, getting 30 orphans through customs was taking a little bit longer than we hoped. Cayce stop on her tip toes staring through the door with a few other parents, and then finally, we see the little red shirts all in a group! At about quarter to six, the children walked through those sliding doors to the cheers and tears of the families waiting there for them! Some of them waved, a few of them ran to their families waiting with posters held high. It was one of the happiest moments I’ve had the privilege to witness, and there were very few dry eyes even amongst the passerby. 20150720_142617

For Kayley, Cayce, and I, there wasn’t quite as much time to feel everything we wanted to. Looking back, the hour after the children’s arrival feels like a blur. Kayley immediately grabbed the chaperones and kids for one flight to run to meet their domestic connection; Cayce grabbed the other group and dashed to another terminal.

20150720_175704As I saw each child’s face, my heart burst as I remembered seeing their sweet faces just months ago in their orphanage. I couldn’t believe it, they were finally here! We spent some time corralling the children, making sure everyone was with their family. There were some sweet moments, some teary moments, and some unforgettable moments. I watched as parent’s embraced their soon be children for the first time, and my heart warmed for them. I watched young kids meet strangers and take them like it was nothing. I had to pinch myself to remind myself that everything around me was actually happening.

Many families were able to depart quickly and start their official hosting journey. Some of the children needing some coaxing – the reality that they were in a foreign place with strange people really setting in. We had prepared the families for these kinds of fears, and the resilience these families showed, to stand by the children and wait to be the person who was there to hug them, hold them, and love them was indescribable.

For one family, arrival day was a true testament to their commitment. They had been stuck for five hours in the traffic outside of Houston. Cayce met them downstairs to bring them up to their kiddo, and it was clear that the stress of the day had taken its toll. Despite all they had been through, both parents and all of their kiddos were THRILLED to finally be there, finally be arriving to see their child waiting at the airport. And what a cool little dude he is!

Finally, with everyone where they needed to be, we looked at each other and were able to see the exhaustion (emotional and physical) in each others’ eyes. After 10 straight hours in an airport, we decided to stay in Houston. We settled some baggage issues and then went on our way to stay at my mom’s house for the evening, who, like the amazing woman she is, had hot pizza waiting for us (THANKS MOM!). She also already had the TV up and on record – we were on the news! We sat squealing in front of the television, pizza in hand, as the amazing stories of these children and families scrolled on the screen.

Without any further hitches, we received confirmation one after another that all the rest of our 14 kiddos had made it safely to their destination. It’s been a whirlwind, and we are happy to say that we’ve received countless stories already from the families with updates. While orphan hosting is not always sunshine and rainbows, it shouldn’t be. These are children who have been through some tough experiences, and standing by them is what makes these families the true Orphan Warriors they are. We will continue to keep you posted on how the children are doing – for now, enjoy the awesome photos!

Check out KHOU Houston’s News Story

photo (3)IMG_0194 IMG_0219 20150720_182653IMG_0192IMG_0182image1 (5)IMG_0226 IMG_0229 IMG_0237

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We are so excited for these kiddos and their forever families! Many more families will be traveling this month and we look forward to bringing so many of these sweet children home!

 

mothers day

 

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