China Special Needs

Domestic Program


The original China Program has slowed to a snail’s pace but many families have pursued successfully the adoption of a “special needs” child. Special needs can range from mild/moderate/serious and the adopting parents, once home study ready, can choose a child from the China Special Needs List and from new lists of children available for adoption who are sent to adoption agencies.




30-55 years old.




Wait Time

Approximately one year after family dossier is filed with CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs)


Often birthparents choose a couple who have an active, youthful lifestyle and have 0-2 other children in the home.

Characteristics of the Child

12 months and up with minor issues such as club feet, cleft lip and/or palate, already corrected heart issues with normal life expectancies.

Severe special needs are also available.


$25,000 – $26,000

Marital Status

Married couples and Single women


No mental, chronic or medical issues.

Domestic Adoption - Journeys of the Heart

Journeys of the Heart is fortunate to be one of the few adoption agencies accredited by the China Center of Adoption Affairs to place special needs children. Due to our excellent relationship with CCAA we have been able to place special need children since 1998.

This program is a very good choice for families who are open to a diversity of special needs, which range from minor medical issues, like cleft lip and palate, club foot, hemangiomas, and Hepatitis B to moderate and severe medical problems like missing limbs, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, mental retardation, and Down syndrome.

The age of the children is between one year old to 14 years old, and the ratio of boys to girls is approximately 3:1.

The time frame is quite short in the world of international adoption with the process being The time frame is accomplished in about one year, once the dossier is logged in with the CCAA.

According to CCAA regulations, a family can be matched with a child only if the “dossier” is registered with their office. There are two exceptions:

  • The match can be made if the child was on the special need list for more than one month. The dossier must be sent to CCAA within 3 months from the match in order to keep the referral.
  • The child is part of the “special focus group”; the dossier must be sent to CCAA within 6 months from the match in order to keep the referral

Once the dossier (which is relatively easy to compile) is finalized, it will be sent to China to be translated and be registered with China Center of Adoption Affairs; this process of registration will take up to 3 weeks. The CCAA sends JOH the registration number and the date of the registration.

After the registration the referral can be made immediately if a child who matches the family’s preferences is already listed. The CCAA updates the special need list once a month, and families should expect a waiting time of 0-6 months to be matched, the longest waiting time being for young girls (1-2 years old) with minor special needs (cleft lip/palate, club foot, minor congenital heart diseases, etc).

After the match is made, expect up to 3-4 months for CCAA to send the documents that seek approval for this match (Letter of Seeking Confirmation From Adopter), and approximately 2 months until the trip to China to adopt the child.

New referrals become available each month and it is from the new referral list that Journeys’ staff is able to locate children with minor special needs.

Families are now allowed by CCAA to adopt two children at the same time or two children within a year using the same dossier. Families will need to update their home study and the immigration approval. Journeys will approve adopting two children at a time or within a year only under certain circumstances and with social work input and approval.

Hague Accredited

Whats Next?

Learn about the International Adoption Process and take the first step in starting your family!

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