Adopting a Child from China
We are considering adoption from China, and are hoping for some specific feedback about several local agencies from people who have used the agencies. We have checked the archives & have additional questions about BAAS and ACCEPT.
How is the China facilitator that people work with locally for BAAS? Is she easy to work with? What services does she provide? Did you have to bring your dossier to the Chinese Embassy yourself, or did she do that (we've heard conflicting reports). How is the guide in China? Does she do more than act as a translator & tour guide? What services does she provide? Was she helpful? Did you feel taken care of, or on your own regarding the final parts of the adoption process, when you were in China?
What were peoples' experiences with ACCEPT? We have heard wonderful things about Norman Niu, the China facilitator, but have some concerns about the homestudy process at ACCEPT. Did it seems as though you got useful information in the homestudy? Does it make sense to do an online course rather than to go to classes? Finally, how was it to travel in China with such a large group? annonymous
Most prospective adopters don't know to ask about this, but a problem that plagues families after they return from China is the re-adoption process. Counties in CA all interpret the family code laws in different ways leaving a big black hole for some agencies to charge exorbitant fees for this service. In Alameda County, I was able to readopt my child without using an agency and it cost me all of $20. The important thing to ask any agency BEFORE using them is if they will give you your homestudy and any post-placement reports they did. I know this seems like a small detail but it won't be when you're ready to cross that bridge. If you'd like more details, feel free to email me. kb
BAAS was very good and personal. The adoption classes are excellent and the travel was in small groups or single family. There was lots of personal attention before and after the adoption. There was erroneous advice in the April 8 Berkeley Parents Network newsletter about having to readopt. There is no need to readopt if the adoption is from China. The adoptions are completed in China. the only legal paperwork in the US is if you want a birth certificate and that requires a form and a motion in the county to register the birth. BAAS gives you all the correct information on the process. Juliet
We have been thinking about adopting a baby from China, and I would like to know about peoples' experience who have adopted from China. Did the agency you went to specialize in Chinese adoptions? Did you like your agency? How long did it take? Did it turn out about as you expected? Thanks
About agencies for Chinese adoptions - there are several good ones to choose from locally. I used BAAS and recommend them. The staff are easy to work with (and are all adoptive parents themselves), but the best thing about BAAS is their China facilitator, Xiaoqing Cai. My experience with them was excellent (with the exception of a social worker who dragged her feet, but she no longer works for BAAS). BAAS is kind of medium-sized, and has several other programs in addition to their China program.
A friend just adopted a baby girl from China using Bay Area Adoption Services (BAAS) , based in Mountain View, I believe. She was very, very happy with them, although the process did take a few months more than originally expected (this seems to be true of every adoption I have heard of, regardless of the country). I know she did a lot of comparison shopping before settling on BAAS. From what I understand BAAS kept her well informed of the various setbacks, etc. and she felt they were doing everything they could to speed her application through the channels. Good luck. Sarah
We are currently using Heartsent Adoptions to do the homestudy for our Guatemalan adoption. They specialize in adoptions from Asian countries, so we are not using them as our placement agency.
So far, I adore them. They are very responsive, helpful, and have lots of experience helping families adopt from China.
They can be reached at: 925-254-8883, and are located in Orinda. Good luck! Michelle
I know of others who've worked with Heartsent in Orinda and loved them (it's a very small agency, and anecdotally it sounded as if their homestudy process was much faster). Many others I know have worked with Americans Adopting Orphans, and people swear by their facilitator, Norman Niu (sp?). Rumors keep circulating that Norman may be retiring, though, and that would be useful information going in.
You can also go with one of the huge national agencies, like Holt or CCAI. There is a big email list for prospective and waiting China adoptive parents at Yahoo groups, called adopt-parents-China, or APC. It's a mixed bag with a real cross-section of people on it, with neurotics and rumor-mongers out in force, so I would recommend taking it in small doses, but you can research the archives for agency recommendations there, too.
Good luck, and congratulations! This may be the best decision you'll ever make! Nancy