Regulations for Orphanage Visits

As the demand for orphanage visits by adoptive families on homeland travel increases, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs and local provincial civil affairs offices have come with new policies to regulate and standardize the requirements and procedures for giving permissions. Families are now required to submit a written request and certain documents regarding the adoption. This request must be reviewed and granted by the provincial civil affairs office. In some provinces a fee is now being imposed by the provincial civil affairs office for reviewing petition for orphanage visits and granting permissions. The fee varies from 900 yuan (approx. $145.00 U.S Dollars) to 2200 yuan (approx. $360.00 U.S Dollars) depending on the province (the actual amount is subject to change). Currently, most orphanages are open to visits by returning families. Visits to orphanages in a few areas of China are still hard to arrange due to local policies.

At Always and Forever Adoption Homeland Tours, we understand that an orphanage visit is perhaps the most important part of homeland travel. Planning and arranging such a trip can be very emotional and stressful. Our staff and representatives in China continue to work closely with the Chinese authorities and orphanages to ensure successful arrangements for your visits. However, permission to visit orphanages is solely the decision of the Chinese provincial government and the welfare institute. We cannot and will not guarantee that the permission be granted and that any of our special requests be met by the orphanage.

The orphanage visit petition is usually required to be filed three months in advance for families on homeland tours. Families who are returning to China for another adoption and plan to visit their older children’s former orphanages are exempted from this rule. We highly recommend that all families contact us and submit the orphanage visit request and supporting documents as soon as possible. We ask families to prepare the following documentation for the orphanage visit request:

Tour Registration Form (.pdf) with the following supporting documents:

  • Clear photocopy of each traveler’s valid passport

SWI Visit Request Form (.pdf) with the following supporting documents:

  • Personal letter requesting permission for orphanage visit. Please state who you are, who the adopted child is (current name, original name, date of birth), name of orphanage, date of adoption, why you want to visit the orphanage, and when you plan to visit. The letter should be addressed “To Whom It May Concern” and signed by the adoptive parents.
  • Photocopy of Adoption Certificate. This is the document in a diploma looking book issued by the provincial civil affairs office at the time of adoption registration in the provincial capital city. Your child’s Adoption Certificate would look like one of the samples depending on whether the adoption was before or after 1998.
  • Photocopy of Notarial Abandonment Statement. This is one of the white booklet issued by the local Chinese notary office, stating when and where the child was found. Please submit the Chinese page of this document if you would like us to arrange for you to visit the finding site during your visit to the orphanage city.

If you have any questions about orphanage visits, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to review the case with you individually and work out a plan based on your specific situation.

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