Fiona Is GWCA’s Sponsored Star For October!

In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, GWCA’s Sponsored Star for October is Fiona, a precious 3-year-old girl who absolutely rocks her extra chromosome!

Fiona seems to be doing well overall! She knows how to walk and is saying some words. Although her speech is slightly delayed, communication does not seem to be an obstacle for her. She understands instructions from her caregivers such as “sit down, stand up,” and she can point the position of “nose, eyes, and ears” on someone’s face. Fiona is described as being cute and affectionate. She will kiss her caretaker’s face when she is happy.

As our Sponsored Star for October, Fiona as a $2,000 grant available towards her adoption fees! If you’re interested in learning more about Fiona, visit our photo listing or contact our matching specialists today!

What is a Sponsored Star?

On the 1st of each month, Great Wall China Adoption will feature one of the kiddos from our Orphanage Partnerships as our monthly “Sponsored Star!” As our Sponsored Star, that child will be provided a $2,000 grant towards their adoption fees. Each of the kiddos selected is a Special Focus child, meaning they have not found their Forever Family yet due to their age or the degree of their needs. Together, we can find loving homes for these amazing kids!

We encourage any families interested in learning more about our Sponsored Star of the Month to visit our China Waiting Child Photo Listing, or contact our China Matching Specialists to learn how you can be matched today! Check back on the first of each month to meet the newest featured child!

Resources

– Learn more about China adoption
– Visit the Waiting Child Photo Listing
– Contact a China adoption specialist

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October Is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a time when we come together to spread awareness of Down syndrome, to show support for those with the condition, and to celebrate their abilities and accomplishments. Down Syndrome Awareness Month is particularly significant to us in the adoption community because many Waiting Children around the world in need of families have Down syndrome.

What is Down Syndrome?

According to the National Down Syndrome Society, Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition. It occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes physical characteristics associated with Down syndrome, including small stature and low muscle tone. Each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all.

Most people with Down syndrome have cognitive delays that are mild to moderate. However, this is not indicative of their many strengths and talents. Although people with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for certain medical conditions, healthcare and treatment of these conditions allow for most people with Down syndrome to lead healthy lives.

To learn more about Down syndrome, visit the National Down Syndrome Society.

GWCA and CAN’s Waiting Children

Our China and CAN matching specialists are currently advocating for several kids with Down Syndrome. These wonderful children deserve the opportunity to grow up in a loving family. If your family is interested in learning how you can be matched with one of these incredible kiddos, visit our Waiting Child photo listings or contact our matching specialists today!

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URGENT: Only Four Months Until Rebecca Ages Out

Every child needs a loving and permanent family. However, when an orphan “ages out” in China, they lose their chance to be part of a family, where they can feel safe and be loved. At the young age of 14, these children are deemed ineligible for adoption, and their hope for a bright future all but vanishes. This is the situation Rebecca would face, unless she’s able to find a family who can bring her home by her 14th birthday this January.

Rebecca is a lovely and smart young girl, who is outgoing, active, and gets along well with others. Her caregivers describe her as being obedient, sensible, and polite. She enjoys singing and will often perform at school events and at the orphanage. This year she won the second prize in a singing competition!

Click here to watch a video of the talented Rebecca singing beautifully!

Rebecca is missing her left eye and has corneal leukoplakia in her right eye. However, her right eye has some sight, and she’s able to walk around freely in familiar environments without assistance. Currently, she attends a school for children who are blind, where she’s performing very well. Her cognitive and language abilities are normal, and she can read in braille. Rebecca earns excellent grades and has been awarded “Triple-A” student every year.

She has expressed to caregivers that she wants to be adopted by an American family and desires to have a home and parents of her own. Would you consider giving Rebecca a 14th birthday that she will never forget? If you would like to learn more about adopting this sweet kid, please contact China Adoption Specialist Heidi at heidi@gwca.org today. We hope that Rebecca can find her Forever Family soon and experience the love and care that she deserves.

Visit our Waiting Child photo listing to request Rebecca’s file!

Resources:

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7 More Kids Home Forever!

After two weeks of bonding with their new families and finalizing their adoptions in China, we are so excited to share that these SEVEN kids have all recently come home! This is the moment that these kids have been waiting for for such a long time. It’s the moment when they are no longer identified as an “orphan” and they come to know the love of a family. Congratulations to all of these incredible kiddos form all of us at GWCA and CAN, and welcome home!

Just as no two adoption journeys are the same, each of these kids came to be matched with their Forever Families in their own way. While some of these kids’ files were considered Special Focus, meaning their families were able to be matched with them right away, other kids’ files were LID, meaning their families had to have their dossiers logged in before they could learn more about them.

If you’re interested in learning how your family can be matched with a child through our China Waiting Child adoption program, visit our photo listing or contact a China matching specialist today!

Resources:

– Visit the GWCA Waiting Child photo listing
– Contact a China matching specialist
– Learn more about China adoption

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4 More Kids Have Updates!

Issac

Issac is a cute little boy from China that is 5 and a half years old. Issac is a smart kiddo who likes to listen to music, sing and dance. He has normal intelligence and is developing well cognitively. He has normal language development and can have regular conversations with friends and adults. Issac asks how and why questions such as “What is for breakfast?” Issac is a helpful boy that will assist his caretakers with daily tasks. Issac will sometimes ask his caretakers, “Are you tired?” which shows what an empathetic and sweet boy he is.

Issac was born with a spinal meningocele which was removed during surgery when he was very young. He has clubbed feet, so he cannot walk, but he can hold himself up enough to stand and he can go up and down stairs by himself. He can crawl to get where he needs to go.

It is unclear if this child could walk in the future with the right surgery and rehabilitation services that he could receive in America. Hopefully with the love, care and support of a loving Forever Family, Issac could thrive in the United States!

If you would like to learn more about how you could adopt Issac, please contact the China Home Finding Team at GWCA today!

Click Here to Watch one of Issac’s NEW Videos!

Johnny

Johnny is a sweet little boy from China that just recently turned 5 years old!  Johnny has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, but he received a shunt shortly after arriving to the orphanage and has been doing great since that time! He is also able to follow directions and has excellent fine motor skills! He is a shy, sweet little boy who would thrive with the love of a forever family. Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more about Johnny today!

Click Here to Watch one of Johnny’s NEW Videos!

Summer

As our Sponsored Star, Summer currently has a $2,000 grant available towards her adoption!  Summer is a precious little girl from China that is 9 and a half years old!  Summer is described as being a smart, optimistic girl who is polite and likes to have conversations with other children.  Summer has said that she very much wants to be adopted by an American family!  One of our GWCA Staff Members met Summer when she was in China last year and she would love to speak to any interested families about Summer!

Summer has atrophy of both eyeballs so she cannot see at all.  Summer has good cognitive abilities and is not delayed in that regard.  She is smart and going to a special school for blind children where she is learning to read braille.  She has good language ability and can sing many children’s songs.  She has great self-care skills including dressing herself, going to the toilet by herself.  She gets along well with other children and adults.

Summer as normal gross and fine motor skills compared to other children her age.  She can walk on her own, although due to being blind she may need a walking cane to get around unfamiliar places.  Summer also loves to dance!  In regards to her fine motor skills, she can button small buttons, build towers with jigsaw blocks and can use chopsticks and a spoon to eat rice and noodles at mealtime.

Summer is doing very well for a blind child who lives in an orphanage in China.  She is clearly very smart and has a positive outlook on life.   Summer would love to be adopted and be a part of a family!

If you would like to learn more about Summer and how you can adopt her, please contact the GWCA China Home Finding Team today!

Click Here to Watch one of Summer’s Videos!

Jacob

Jacob is an awesome little boy from China that is 4 and a half years old.  Jacob is described as being an active, cheerful boy with a ready smile.  He likes to play games with his friends and spend time outside.  Jacob is currently in a regular kindergarten class outside of the orphanage and is doing well there.  Jacob gets along very well with other children and enjoys playing with his peers.

Jacob is very close with his caregivers. Sometimes when his nanny is doing laundry he will sit next to her and try to help her fold clothes.  He is a very helpful little boy who is empathetic and aware when other people need help.  Jacob’s physical abilities appear to be normal compared with his peers, such as his ability to walk, jump up and down, and go up and down stairs.

Jacob was born without any ears but he can still hear, but he can still hear quite well! Jacob can hear what others are saying to him and can follow instructions given by his caregivers.  Jacob can say 5-10 word sentences and express his wants and needs.

The right side of Jacob’s face also droops somewhat, but it has improved with acupuncture.  Jacob was very brave and behaved well when he was receiving acupuncture, even though it was painful.

If you would like to learn more about Jacob, please contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall today!

Click Here to Watch one of Jacob’s NEW Videos!

Resources

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I’m Coming Home!

There’s nothing like being able to hold your family in your arms even when they’re thousands of miles away. Lucky for this little guy, this pillow from his care package is about to be replaced by the real deal–this week, his family is heading to China to bring him home forever! While the pillow that his family sent him was a great way for him to familiar himself with their faces throughout their adoption journey, he will finally have them right by his side. This is a moment that both he and his new forever family have been waiting for for quite some time and we’re so happy that it has finally arrived!

Congratulations to this little guy and his new family, and safe travels as you make your way home!

China Waiting Child Adoption

This little guy, who we advocated for with the nickname “Matthew,” was matched with his family through China’s Special Focus adoption track. In this track, families can be matched with a child at any point in the process – even if they haven’t completed all of their adoption paperwork. As such, when his family found him they were able to request to be matched with him right away!

GWCA is currently advocating for over 60 Waiting Children who are in need of families. These kiddos’ limited profiles can be found on our China Waiting Child photo listing. and their full files can be requested by contacting our adoption specialists. For more information on how you can adopt a child from China, visit GWCA’s website or contact us today!

Resources

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Look What Love Can Do!

It is always so incredible for us to watch families’ adoption journeys, from the moment they fall in love with a child’s photo and decide to pursue the match, to the moment they bring their child home forever. There are some adoption journeys, however, that really hit home–particularly those that we get to watch come full circle. Last Thursday we were lucky enough to have a family visit our office, giving us the opportunity to witness a piece of their journey in person. They brought in two absolutely amazing kids that we advocated for who have been home now for some time. There are few words that can describe how meaningful this visit was, especially for our staff members who initially met these kids in China on an Orphan Hosting interview trip. Here is what our interview team had to share about the experience:

You never forget that first trip to China. The smells, the emotions, the nerves and the kids. I walked into my first orphanage January 2015 not sure what to expect. It was the heart of winter and it was freezing. The orphanage was in Changsha – open air – middle of January. We walked into the room where we would meet the kids, it was so cold–not temperature cold, the walls were white, bars on the windows and the toys were worn. We interviewed 30 kids that first day. To say that it was overwhelming is an understatement. That day I met many kids that will forever have a place in my heart.

I keep every Orphan Hosting program list on my office desk I see the names of all of the kids who have come for hosting. I have my crazy color coding systems that tell me who has come home, and who hasn’t. I see the kids who we have advocated for over the years and still wait. But those kids that come home – the pictures, the updates, the growth it’s insane. On numerous occasions, photos have brought tears to my eyes… but last Thursday was so much more.

Last Thursday two of the most precious children walked through the front doors of GWCA in Austin, TX, just days shy of 11 months being home. Two and half years since I saw them in China. Two and half a year since my heart fell deeper in love with the children in China. The children who were so wonderfully made to be a part of a family. There is nothing like coming face to face with something you poured everything into. We don’t often get the chance to meet the children we work so hard for day in and day out, but Thursday I got to embrace TWO of those kids. Two kids who are loved unconditionally and encouraged infinitely. I listened to the accomplishments of these two and tears fell as I heard every single one. How about a boy who has had six surgeries in 11 months and sweet girl that is blind that both play baseball and LOVE it! Or a little boy who plays the piano for his sister as she belts our her favorite Disney songs (which we were so lucky to hear). Or two kids just 10 days in the US enrolled in school eager to learn and ready to do great things with their lives.

All of this began with the belief that someone could be their mom and dad. There were so many inter-working hands that lead us to that fateful day in Changsha, to the one family that chose to host, and the countless voices that advocated on behalf of both that led them to their mom and dad. A saying we hear often is that “It takes a village.” It does – with everything that has gone on in China adoption in the last 2 weeks it would be really easy to stop fighting the fight, but now more than ever we need voices for the kids that wait – we need you – we need the village to make forever happen for the rest of the children waiting. Don’t stop now – take a look at what a little love can do! – Shannon Phillips, Orphan Hosting Director

 Resources

– Learn more about China adoption
– Visit GWCA’s Waiting Child Photo Listing
– Contact a China adoption specialist

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How the New Eligibility Updates Could Help Singles

In international adoption, every country’s program has a unique set of eligibility regulations put in place by in-country authorities. These eligibility regulations determine everything from annual income requirements to acceptable health conditions that potential adoptive parents can or can’t have. For single applicants, these eligibility requirements also determine whether or not they are permitted to pursue a child’s adoption based on their single status.

Over the course of time, some countries have gone back and forth on whether or not to allow single applicants. China, however, has always been very welcoming of single women who are looking to grow their family through adoption as long as they meet the specific eligibility requirements set in place for single families.

Last week, China released updates for their adoption eligibility regulations, many of which are now more stringent than they were before. One area where the new updates allow for more flexibility than previously, however, is with single applicants!

The two most notable changes that have been made to the eligibility requirements for singles are the minimum age of the youngest child in the home, and the maximum age difference between the parent and the child being adopted.

Old Requirements for Singles: 

  • The youngest child in the home must be at least 6 years old prior to adopting
  • There can be no more than a 45 year age difference between the parent and the child being adopted

New Requirements for Singles: 

  • The youngest child in the home must be at least 3 years old prior to adopting
  • There can be no more than a 50 year age difference between the parent and the child being adopted

 

While many of the other updated regulations have made it more difficult for countless families to pursue their dream of adoption, we’re so hopeful that this new flexibility for single applicants will open a window of possibility. If are considering beginning your adoption journey and you would like to speak to one of our adoption specialists to review all eligibility information, please contact GWCA today!

Resources

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Meet Victor

Victor is an amazing 9-year old boy who has continued to persevere despite all odds that he has faced. In the fall of 2016 Victor arrived at Bethel, an incredible foundation which specializes in the care of children with vision impairments. Upon his arrival, they gave him the name “Victor” to symbolize his victories over the challenges he has faced so far in his young life.

The caretakers at Bethel describe this amazing boy as an overcomer who is loving and joyful with everyone he meets. He has a curious spirit and always seeks to explore new places and new things. Victor loves his main caregiver very much, showing an incredible ability to attach and love others. He has been through a lot, but he continues to rise above those experiences and thrive with the love and care of the staff at Bethel.

Victor loves to play, dance, and laugh with with his friends and teachers. He has significant vision impairment in both eyes, but he is able to see light and loves to play with toys that light up. Despite his vision impairment, Victor loves exploring and seeking new experiences. He has learned to trust others and feels safer and more secure with each day that he is at Bethel.

Victor has made phenomenal progress since arriving at Bethel last fall, and we can only imagine what he will accomplish when he receives the unconditional love of a family.

Bethel recently teamed up with The Archibald Project to share the stories of the amazing children in their care. Visit their website here or contact GWCA’s China adoption specialists to see what they had to say about Victor. We’re so hopeful that Victor will find his family soon. If you’re interested in learning more about this incredible boy or reviewing his medical file, please visit our Waiting Child photo listing or contact GWCA today!

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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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