Adoption Program

In 1995, Small World placed its first child from China in an American home. Since then, China has grown to be one of Small World’s most successful international adoption programs.

This Small World Adoption Program qualifies for financial grants by the foundations who partner with Small World. The granting foundations are solely responsible for approving or denying prospective adoptive parents.   

Grant Application information may be obtained by emailing


China’s Waiting Child adoption program

In the waiting children program (boys and girls) with special needs ranging from mild or correctable to more significant needs are available. Adoptive parents can expect a 12 – 14 month process from application to picking up your child in China.

The special needs program is in classic Chinese style a very organized and ethical adoption program. You will enjoy the most smoothly run program in the world that places more children to the United States each year than any other country. Small World’s experienced staff will lead you through the process step by step. Our staff in China is English speaking and is dedicated to making your trip to China an informative and memorable experience.

The adoption process in China

Small World walks with you through the entire process of your adoption. The Small World employees communicate with you throughout the process of your Home Study and process your dossier for you as a service.

1/22/2016 Jim Savley, President of Small World, met with old friend Director Jaung of the CCCWA Small World has increased in every area of it’s partnership with China’s Adoption programs and is moving forward with Bold new initiatives to the delight of CCCWA
1/22/2016 Jim Savley, President of Small World, met with old friend Director Zhang of the CCCWA

Small World has increased in every area of it’s partnership with China’s Adoption programs and is moving forward with Bold new initiatives to the delight of CCCWA

For any further questions concerning our China program please contact the China Program Director Lisa Baker at


China has very strict requirements for adoption. Below you will find a basic list of the requirements for adoption in China. You may view the complete list on the CCCWA’s website here. Some requirements are conditional. Please contact us if you do not meet some of the requirements to see if you may still be eligible.


China requires that each applicant be at least 30 years old at the time your dossier is registered with the China Center for Adoption Affairs. Couples may adopt through the Waiting Child Program up until age 55. There can be no more than 50 years difference in age between the younger parent and the adoptive child. No more than 45 for years for singles.


China requires an income of $10,000 per family member including your prospective adopted child. The CCCWA requires a minimum net worth of at least $80,000.

Applicants who do not meet the required income and/or total net worth requirement may still be able to adopt. This would require showing that your income/net worth is adequate for meeting the financial requirement for where you live. This could be especially helpful for American expats living abroad.

Health Status

China’s requirements state that in general a family must be “healthy”. Some applicant may ask to be reviewed by the CCCWA on a case by case basis based on health status. Applicants where one spouse has diagnosed depression or anxiety and is taking small amount of medication and the condition is under control may adopt either Special Need or Special Focus children. Applicants where one spouse has or has had epilepsy, cancer, cystic fibrosis, lupus, hearing function loss or has had organ transplant with the last 10 years etc. and the condition is under control AND the other spouse is healthy may adopt Special Needs or Special Focus children. (There are other conditions that also fall in this category that are not listed, please ask if you have another medical condition and are considering adopting from China)

Some common dis-qualifiers to adoption in China are:

  • Diagnosed with severe mental health concern
  • Alcoholism within the last 10 years
  • Any history of illegal drug or narcotic use or abuse
  • Either parent uses a wheelchair or mobility aid
  • Binocular blindness
  • Active Hepatitis A, B, or C
  • BMI over 40. What is my BMI?


For married couples adopting from the China Waiting Child Program there is no limit to family size. Single applicants can have no more than 2 children and the youngest child has to be at least 6.

Marital Status

Single applicants are now able to adopt SN children (not only Special Focus children). Married couples may apply to adopt from China in any of the CCCWA’s programs. Couples must be married for a minimum of 2 years if neither spouse has been married before this current marriage. If either spouse has been divorced previously, the current marriage must be for a minimum of 5 years. If either spouse has 3 or more divorces, you will not be qualified to adopt from China.

Criminal History

Criminal history cases may be reviewed by the CCCWA on a case by case basis. Some common disqualifiers to adoption in China are:

  • Current warrants or probation
  • Arrest for illegal drugs or use of illegal drugs
  • DUI or DWI charges within the last 5 years. No more than a total of three.
  • Any arrest for a violent crime or felony arrests


Each applicant must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.


In accordance with Small World’s mission statement, our China program is open to Christian families only.

Post Adoption

The 1 month report is no longer required.

The new report sequence is as follows: 6 month, 1 year, 2 year, 3 year, 4 year & 5 year.

  • The 6 month, 1 year & 2 year reports require a social worker visit and to be written by the social worker.
  • The 3 year, 4 year & 5 year reports do not require a social worker visit, but require the family complete the Post Adoption Family Report Form from Small World.
  • The Post Adoption Family Report will be submitted back to Small World for review and then submitted to China by Small World’s Vice President of Post Placement Services.
  • Also, the “Feedback On Special Needs” and “Medical Check-Up for the Adoptee” forms are no longer required.

For further information, please contact Kerri Tracy, Director of Post Placement Services.



Fees for China adoption paid to Small World:

Application  $250
Home Study $2,000
Post Adoption Reports (per report, per child) $400
Dossier Fee
(Includes shipping of all documents, Authentication, Registration, and Translation of all documents throughout the adoption process)
Agency Fee $6,000

Estimated Expenses for China Adoption:

Above fees paid to Small World:

Acceptance of Referral (per child) $1,300
CIS Application $720
FBI Fingerprints $170
Foreign Program Fee (per child) $8,000 – $9,000
Travel- 2 adults (estimate) $7,950

Total Adoption Cost:

Total Adoption Cost $29,890 – 30,890

Payment Schedule

Application Fee Payment must accompany submission of application.
Services Agreement The signed services agreement must be returned to Small World as the next step after the client’s application has been accepted by Small World. No payment with the Services Agreement is required.
Home Study Fee Payment must be submitted prior to the initiation of Home Study services. The Home Study packet will not be sent and work will not begin until the Home Study fee is paid. Payments for updates are due at the time services are requested. For families residing outside of TN, case worker travel is billed separately and in advance of travel.
Home Study Review Fee All Home Studies are reviewed by our professional reviewers. If your Home Study is prepared by an agency other than Small World, a Home Study review fee of $200 is due at the time Small World enters into a contractual agreement with your Home Study provider.
Agency Fee Payment must be submitted at the time of the completed Home Study. No further work may be performed toward the adoption until the agency fee is received by Small World. The agency fee for each additional child adopted simultaneously with the first child for most programs is eligible for a 50% discount.
Post Adoption Fee Pre-payment of 2 reports, per child, must be submitted with the Home Study fee. The report fee balance, per child, is due prior to travel. The number and frequency of reports required varies by country. Please contact the appropriate program director for report schedules. For families residing outside of TN, case worker travel is billed separately and in advance of travel.
PAR Processing Fee Post Adoption Reports prepared by agencies other than Small World require a processing fee of $100 per report. PAR processing fees for all reports are due prior to travel.
Dossier Prep & Registration Fee Payment must accompany the first, original documents submitted to Small World for processing.
Acceptance of Referral Payment to Small World must accompany your “Acceptance of Referral” document for each child.
Foreign Program Fee Unless otherwise mandated by the program country, half of the Foreign Program Fee is due at the time of I800 or I600 approval, and the balance is due prior to travel.


**Not all adoptive couples will qualify for the Adoption Tax Credit. Please consult your accountant or the IRS for a complete list of requirements.

1/22/2016 Jim and Jimbo Savley met with with Match Room Director, Xu, and staff
1/22/2016 Jim and Jimbo Savley met with with Match Room Director, Xu, and staff
1/22/2016 Jim and Jimbo Savley with the Director of Travel Approval (TA)
1/22/2016 Jim and Jimbo Savley with the Director of Travel Approval (TA)

Country And Culture

panda-smallA country in eastern Asia, China is officially named the People’s Republic of China. China covers an area of 3,696,100 sq mi and has a population of approximately 1,298,848,000. The capital of China is Beijing. The Han, or ethnic Chinese, form more than nine-tenths of the population.

Languages spoken are many dialects of Han Chinese. Mandarin and Cantonese are the two most broadly spoken languages in China. Religions in China include Buddhism, Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Daoism. The currency in China is the renminbi of which the unit is the Yuan.

Recent History

Peoples from Manchuria overran China in 1644 and established the Qing (Manchu) dynasty. Ever-increasing incursions by Western and Japanese interests led in the 19th century to the Opium Wars, the Taiping Rebellion, and the Sino-Japanese War, all of which weakened the Manchu. The dynasty fell in 1911, and a republic was proclaimed in 1912 by Sun Yat-sen. The power struggles of warlords weakened the republic. Under Chiang Kai-shek, some national unification was achieved in the 1920s, but Chiang soon broke with the communists, who then formed their own armies. Japan invaded northern China in 1937; its occupation lasted until 1945.

The communists gained support after the Long March (1934–35), in which Mao Zedong emerged as their leader. Upon Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II, a fierce civil war began; in 1949 the Nationalists fled to Taiwan, and the communists proclaimed the People’s Republic of China.

The communists undertook extensive reforms, but pragmatic policies alternated with periods of revolutionary upheaval, most notably in the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The anarchy, terror, and economic paralysis of the latter led, after Mao’s death in 1976, to a turn to moderation under Deng Xiaoping, who undertook economic reforms and renewed China’s ties to the West. The government established diplomatic relations with the U.S. in 1979.

Since the late 1970s the economy has been moving from central planning and state-run industries to a mixture of state-owned and private enterprises in manufacturing and services, in the process growing dramatically and transforming Chinese society. The Tiananmen Square incident in 1989 was a challenge to an otherwise increasingly stable political environment after 1980. In 1997 Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule, as did Macau in 1999.


Small World English speaking Representatives meet each family at the plane upon arrival in the province of your child’s institution and guide and accompany you through every step of the adoption process. You will be in the province approximately one week before flying to Guangzhou where our representatives will meet your plane and carry you to your hotel.

Our representatives will walk you through the entire process in Guangzhou culminating in your child’s visa from the US Consulate. Small World Representatives will accompany you to the airport for your departure from China back to your home with your child. Your total trip time is typically 2 weeks from your front door and back.

More information on the statistics of Small World’s program is available upon request, including the number of adoption placements per year, number of applicants per year, and number of children eligible for adoption. Please contact the Program Director via the info form to the right of this page if you wish to receive to discuss this information.