February 2007Vol. 8, No. 1New Restrictions for Adoptions From China
The Chinese Government has notified the U.S. Department of State about new restrictions on parents who wish to adopt from China. On December 21, the Chinese Government's China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) contacted the U.S. Embassy in Beijing about the new requirements, which will become effective for all adoption dossiers submitted after May 1, 2007.
The new rules will require all adoptive parents to be:
- Married for at least 2 years (5 years if one or both have been divorced)
- Between the ages of 30 and 50
- Completely healthy, both physically and mentally
Prospective parents will be barred from adopting from China if they are single, obese, or on psychiatric or antidepressant medication. Other disqualifying conditions include blindness, severe facial deformities, and limb paralysis or dysfunction. Chinese officials suggested that the restrictions are subject to change.
Adoption agencies that handle adoptions from China first learned of the new requirements in a December 8 meeting in Beijing. This informal announcement led to many reports in the U.S. media about the tightened restrictions.
In recent years, there has been a surge in adoptions from China. The U.S. Department of State statistics on immigrant visas show that approximately 3,300 children were adopted from China in 1996; by 2005, the number had reached almost 8,000. The CCAA has indicated that there are not enough children to meet this increased demand. Their proposed restrictions may offer a way for the CCAA to lessen the number of applications while making efforts to ensure that children go to qualified families.
The new requirements are currently posted on the State Department website: