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.  Small World is proud to partner with Zhang Hui as our liaison in China.

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.


China’s Waiting Child adoption program

In the waiting children program boys and girls age 1-14 with minor to severe special needs, are available for adoption. Adoptive parents can expect a 12 – 24 month process from application to picking up your child in China. The time frame varies greatly, depending on the age and special need of the child you adopt. The wait time for a match with a younger and more minor special needs child will be longer.

There are many children that are waiting right now for a family to bring them home. Click on the link below to view some of these children.


The adoption process in China

Small World walks with you through the entire process of your adoption. You will complete a home study, a dossier, immigration forms with USCIS, and then travel to China. Small World employees will communicate clearly what needs to be completed from home study through travel.

Small World, Inc. prohibits its employees and agents from giving money or other consideration, directly or indirectly, to a child’s parent(s), other individual(s), or an entity as payment for the child or as an inducement to release the child.  Any attempt to do so is grounds for immediate termination and report to all authorities necessary.

If permitted or required by the child’s country of origin, Small World may remit reasonable payments for activities related to the adoption proceedings, pre-birth and birth medical costs, the care of the child, the care of the birth mother while pregnant and immediately following birth of the child, or the provision of child welfare and child protection services generally.

Under no circumstances shall permitted or required contributions be remitted as payment for the child or as an inducement to release the child.  For any further questions concerning our China program please contact the China Program Director Lisa Baker at


The Chinese authority (CCCWA) has their own set of requirements for adoptive families. Below you will find a basic list of those requirements. You’ll notice that some requirements are conditional. Please contact us if you have any question about your eligibility.


China requires that each applicant be at least 30 years old at the time your dossier is registered with the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption. There can be no more than 50 years difference in age between the younger parent and the adoptive child.


China requires an income of $10,000 per family member including your future adopted child. For single applicants, the income requirement includes an additional $10,000. In addition, the CCCWA requires a minimum net worth of at least $80,000 for a married couple and $100,000 for a single applicant.

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

Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs) should be physically and mentally fit, with the ability to raise and educate the adoptee, but may not have any of the following conditions:

  • Intellectual disability
  • HIV positive, or infectious disease that is actively contagious
  • Schizophrenia
  • Mental disorder including mania, depression, bipolar affective disorder, anxiety and phobia, etc. PAP(s) with minor symptoms may be exempt from this limitation if their symptoms are well controlled by medication and they have an assessment from a psychological professional who concludes that their symptoms have no effect on their normal work and life and that they are fit to care for and educate the adoptee.
  • Binocular blindness, binocular low vision or monocular blindness with no ocular prosthesis
  • Severe facial deformity
  • 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
  • Non-function or dysfunction of limbs or trunk caused by impairment, incomplete limb, paralysis or deformity
  • Diseases that require long-term treatment, and have a prognosis which will affect the PAPs’ ability to care for the child, such as lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, etc. Married applicants may be exempt from this limitation if only one of them is completely healthy and the other suffers from such a disease but is under control after treatment, if they can provide a doctor’s note to attest that the illness has no effect on their normal work and life and that he/she is fit to care for the adoptee.
  • 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
  • Vital organ transplant within 10 years – Married applicants are exempt from this limitation if one party is healthy and the other party had an organ transplant within 10 years but has recovered to live a normal life.
  • Short stature or dwarfism – PAPs who adopt children with identical conditions will be exempt from this limitation.
  • Alcoholism within the last 10 years
  • Any history of illegal drug or narcotic use or abuse
  • Either parent uses a wheelchair or mobility aid
  • BMI equal to or over 40. What is my BMI?


PAPs should have enough time and energy to take care of the minors in the house including the prospective adoptee. For married applicants, the number of minors living in the home of the PAPs should be no more than 5. For single applicants, the number of minors in the home of the PAPs should be no more than 2.

The youngest child in the house should be at least 3 years old by the time your dossier is registered with the CCCWA.

Time Between Adoptions

There should be a 1 year interval between the submission of the second adoption dossier and the previous adoption date (from the registration date of the previous adoption to the current LID date). In principle, the PAPs should adopt 1 child from China at a time.

Marital Status

Prospective Adoptive Parents should be a married couple of one male and one female, or a single female.

Married couples should have a stable marriage and must have been married for at least 2 years. Either party should have no more than 1 divorce. If either person has 2 or more divorces you must contact Small World’s China Program Director for advice about current regulations from CCCWA.

In calculating length of marriage, the time that the couple lived together before their marriage can be included. When calculating the number of divorces, widow and remarriage after divorce are not included.

Criminal History

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

  • A history of domestic violence, sex abuse, abandonment/abuse of children (even if they were not arrested or convicted)
  • A history of using drugs including opium, morphine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, smokeable methamphetamine, etc.
  • A history of alcohol abuse with sobriety of less than 10 years.
  • Current warrants or probation
  • Any arrest for a violent crime or felony arrests
  • 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


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


PAPs have to reside in countries which have a cooperative relationship with China in inter-country adoption, or in contracting states of the Hague Convention.



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
US State Dept. Monitoring Fee (per child)   $550
Home Study $2,000
Agency Fee $7,000
Dossier Fee (Includes shipping all documents, Authentication, Registration, and Translation of all documents throughout the adoption process) $3,600
Letter of Intent (per child) $2,500
Foreign Program Fee (per child unless indicated) $12,000
Post Placement/Post Adoption Services* (per child) $1,600

Estimated expenses associated with China adoption not paid to Small World:

Document procurement  $500
Visa (per person)  $118
COVID Testing (per person/per test) $100-$200
USCIS Application $775
FBI Fingerprints ($85 per adult living in the home) $170
Roundtrip Air from US (2 adults returning with 1 child) $7,000
Hotel/Ground Trans. (2 adults plus the adopted child) $3,500

Total Adoption Cost:

Total Adoption Cost $41,663 – 41,763


Payment Schedule

Application Fee Payment must accompany submission of application.
Services Agreement The signed services agreement must be returned to Small World along with the US Dept. of State Monitoring Fee (See Estimated Expenses) as the next step after the client’s application review. Transfer clients submit $1,250 of the agency fee at this time.
US State Dept. Monitoring Fee  In compliance with the mandate issued by the US State Department, this fee is collected by Small World and paid to the agency appointed by the US State Department for Monitoring and Oversight. The US State Department requires that the $500 (per child) fee be remitted following the finalized contract for services with your adoption agency. The payment will not be refunded by the Monitoring agency under any circumstance.
Home Study Fee Payment must be submitted at 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/MO, 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 an exempt provider contract agreement with your home study agency.
Agency Fee Payment must be submitted at the time of the completed Homestudy.  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. Transfer Clients Only: $1,250 is due upon contracting with SW, and the balance is due upon dossier transfer completion.
Post Adoption Services *$800 in Post Adoption Services, per child, must be submitted with the Home Study fee.  The post adoption services balance, per child, is due prior to travel and includes applicable translation fees.  For families residing outside of GA/MO/TN, case worker travel is billed separately and in advance of travel.
Post Adoption & Exempt Providers When post adoption reports are completed by a Small World pre-approved exempt provider, the client will be eligible for a Post Adoption Services discount. To be eligible for the discount, the pre-approved exempt provider must be under contract with Small World prior to client travel to the foreign country.  Applicable discounts will be applied to the post adoption balance due prior to travel.
Dossier Prep & Registration Fee Includes applicable translation fees. Payment must accompany the first, original documents submitted to Small World for processing. Approved dossier documents will not be sent for authentication/apostille until the Dossier Fee is paid in full.
Letter of Intent  Includes applicable translation fees. Payment to Small World must accompany the document packet indicating that you intend to pursue a specific child for adoption.  Submission of the intent to pursue a particular child for adoption does not guarantee approval by the foreign country.
Foreign Program Fee The foreign program fee includes funds required by the foreign supervised provider, exit documents, applicable translation fees, and program development. Due to exchange rates and external costs, foreign program fees are subject to change. Orphanages in China request that adoptive families make a contribution to the orphanage for the care of the child and preparation of the child’s file which made them eligible for adoption. The average contribution requested by orphanages in China is $5,100. When agreed to by the client, the orphanage donation contribution is included in the foreign program fee invoiced prior to travel.

For China, the published foreign program fee assumes the full, standard orphanage donation contribution. Details regarding Small World’s process for the orphanage donation contribution can be found at . The estimated foreign program fee and the estimated in-China travel is billed upon receiving I800 and is due prior to TA arrival. The estimate is updated to reflect actual costs upon receiving the final cost list from China after the requested itinerary is finalized. If the actual costs are lower than the estimate, the resulting overpayment will be credited back to the family. If the actual costs are higher than the estimate, the resulting underpayment must be remitted to Small World prior to departing for Gotcha Day. This invoice will include a 3% payment processing fee for the applicable amount paid online.

For all other countries, half of the Foreign Program Fee is due at the time of I800 or I600 approval, and the balance is due prior to travel.


Country And Culture

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.


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 another representative 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 where possible, the 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.