Friday, January 4, 2008

China Adoption: How Old Will My Child Be?

In our December 31 referral group, six families received beautiful infant girl referrals. Five of these families received referrals for girls older than the family requested in their petition letter.

Several Children's Hope International families have asked about the age requested in the family's petition letter versus the age of the child referred in this group. As outlined in the Hague Treaty on International Adoption, the CCAA's goal is to make a match that is in the best interest of the child and the family adopting them - with an emphasis on the child. When making the referral match, the CCAA considers the child's paperwork and the family's dossier.

The match is not made simply based on the age the family requests. The CCAA looks at the age of the parents, other siblings in the home, the family's life style, hobbies, interests, facial features, significant dates, etc. Families adopting from China are often amazed at how perfectly matched their child is to their family. The CCAA also attempts to keep families with the same agency in the same province to make traveling as a group in China easier.

We certainly understand families' concerns about the age of the child at referral and want to respond to those concerns. It may be helpful to review the CHI Referral History from June 2003 to Present which is available on the CHI main/China Yahoo Group (adoptionchildrenshope). If you are not a member of the CHI main/China Yahoo group and would like a copy of the CHI Referral History, please contact your local branch office or Ann Tollefson ( and an email of the history report may be mailed to you.


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