China Waiting Children Program
Since December of 2000, FTIA has had the privilege of receiving information about Waiting Children in China from the CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption). Since that time, over 500 children have been adopted from China through FTIA's Waiting Children program.
The children in the Waiting Children program typically have been identified as having one or more special needs. The children range in age from 9 months old to 14 years old.
FTIA currently participates in several Waiting Children programs: the shared program, the Special Focus program, and an agency-exclusive program named the Jing Yi program. To learn about these programs, please scroll down or you may click on the program name to go directly to information on that specific program.
Waiting Children in the Jing Yi Program
In November, 2010, FTIA entered into an agreement with the orphanages in the Liupanshui SWI system, consisting of a total of five orphanages. Due to the success of this program, we recently entered into a similar agreement with two orphanages in the Hubei province. FTIA will assist these orphanages in preparing their children's files for adoption and these files will then be assigned exclusively to FTIA for placement. FTIA will also assist these orphanages with some of the needs for caring for their special needs children. Once we receive the files of these children, we will first look through our list of waiting families to find any children that might match our families. We will then post the remaining files on our website list in order to find families for these children. To learn more about the Jing Yi Program, please go to our Jing Yi Program page.
Waiting Children Exclusively Assigned To FTIA in the Special Focus program
On September 1, 2010, the CCCWA began a new program called "Special Focus" children which does allow agencies to request a few children's files from the Shared Program to be held by an agency for 3 months exclusively in order to allow the agency time to advocate for these children. From time to time, we will become aware of children that we would like to advocate for and will request that their files be added to our agency list. Families interested in any of these children may contact us for more information on how to adopt one of these children. To learn about FTIA's Special Focus children click here.
Waiting Children In The Shared Program
FTIA is excited to be a part of a CCCWA program in which children’s files received by us are also assigned to other agencies.
The shared list is time sensitive since a particular child’s file may be examined by a family from another adoption agency and become unavailable very quickly. FTIA does attempt to match families with the children that become available based on the information provided to us by the adoptive family. We will maintain a waiting list of families that are considering the adoption of a child with special needs. The list is maintained in the order that the family expresses an interest in adopting a child with special needs by submitting a special needs checklist.
Information about children available through the shared list is available on a secured Yahoo group for families adopting through FTIA. If you are adopting through the non-special needs program and would like to view the children’s files, you may join the Yahoo group and view files if you have a dossier logged in for China. Those families who start the process specifically to adopt a child with special needs may join the group once they have submitted a home study draft.
As we mentioned above we will attempt to match the shared files to families on our waiting list. We will not match a child with you unless you specifically indicate that you want to be matched with a child from the shared program. In order to be matched with a child, all of the items listed below under "To lock-in the file of a child..." will need to be completed.
If you join the Yahoo group and see a child whose needs you think would be a good fit for your family, you can contact our office and we will check the availability of that child on the CCCWA's web-site. If we see that the child’s file is available, we will provide the CCCWA with your name in order to “lock in” the child’s file for you to view. The CCCWA allows the child’s file to be “locked-in” for only 72 hours before releasing the file for others. Your paperwork for committing to that child should be in our hands within 48 hours so that we can have it translated and submitted within 72 hours. If we do not submit the necessary paperwork, we will not be able to access that file for 15 days. During those 15 days, the file could be locked-in by another agency.
To "lock-in" the file of a child in the Shared Program (whether by being matched by us or by finding the child on the Yahoo group), you will need:
- An active application with FTIA.
- A completed special needs checklist.
- Family Summary and Treatment Plan with adoptive family information completed (physician recommendations and treatment plan will be added later),
- Letter of Intent with adoptive family information completed (physician recommendations and treatment plan will be added later),
- FTIA Parent Education Workbook, Parenting a Child with Special Needs, which is available through your MyFTIA account.
We require that you complete the items listed above in advance of requesting to lock in a child’s file. If we have these items on file for you, it will save you much time when you find a child that you may want to commit to. Some files will also require a family to already have their dossier logged in to China.
How To Commit To A Waiting Child
In order to commit to a child whose file we have successfully locked in for you, the following documents should be submitted to FTIA within 48 hours so that we can translate and submit it to the CCCWA within 72 hours. If we do not submit the following within 72 hours the child’s file will be released for other agencies to lock-in.
- Completed Letter of Intent, emailed to FTIA (in a Word document)
- Completed Family Summary and Treatment Plan, emailed to FTIA (Word document),
- Family photo,
- Passport-type photo for each parent, and
- Confirmation that you have contacted a physician who has verified that he/she will review your child's file during the 72 hour lock in period.
As we stated above, if we see that a child’s file is available, we will lock the child's file for you. The CCCWA allows the child’s file to be “locked-in” for only 72 hours before releasing the file for others. Your paperwork for committing to that child should be in our hands within 48 hours so that we can have it translated and submitted within 72 hours (for shared files). If we do not submit the necessary paperwork, we will not be able to access that file for 15 days. During those 15 days, the file could be locked-in by another agency.
Immediately after submitting the above required documents, and while waiting for the Pre-Approval from the CCCWA, you must prepare and submit the following:
- Notarized home study addendum approving you for a special needs adoption (this will need to go to the CIS if you weren't previously approved for special needs),
- Agreement to Switch to China Waiting Children Program (if you are moving from the Non-Special Needs program),
- Signed original Letter of Intent, and
- Signed original Family Summary and Treatment Plan.
After you commit to a waiting child, you will receive a Pre-Approval from the CCCWA to proceed with the adoption. It averages 1 to 4 weeks for families to receive their Pre-Approval from the CCCWA after you submit your Letter of Intent and Family Summary and Treatment Plan and we submit them to the CCCWA.
Two to four months after the Pre-Approval is received you could expect to receive a Letter of Acceptance from the CCCWA. For Hague families (anyone approved by CIS after April 1, 2007), the Letter of Acceptance must be accompanied by an Article 5 letter signed by the U. S. Consulate in China when it is returned to the CCCWA. The time to receive and return these letters to the CCCWA is approximately 1 month.
Approximately three to four weeks after the Letter of Acceptance is submitted to the CCCWA, you will receive Final Travel Approval from the CCCWA and will travel to China to finalize the adoption approximately 3-5 weeks later. All of these time frames are based upon our most recent experiences, and are subject to change.
It is important to remember that, although you and your family may have committed to a certain child, nothing is final or guaranteed until the CCCWA sends the Final Travel Approval to FTIA, confirming the referral of the child to you.