China Adoption First Steps

Caseworker & New Client Packet
As soon as MAA receives your application documents and fee, we will assign you to one of our wonderfully competent Caseworkers. Your Caseworker will be your primary contact throughout your adoption to answer questions, provide additional information and support you through each step of the process. At this time, we will also send you the MAA New Client Packet which includes all of the step-by-step instructions for the first stages of the adoption process, including the home study, the pre-adoptive training, the US immigration application, and the dossier.

The New Client Packet will also contain the MAA Adoption Contract and other documents that need to be signed and returned to MAA as soon as possible.

Home Study
It is important to begin your home study as soon as possible because it generally can take up to six months to complete. There will be a packet of information in your New Client Packet that you are asked to pass along to the social worker at your first home study visit. Your social worker/home study agency will sign and return the necessary forms from this packet to MAA.

Matching with a Waiting Child (Matched)

“We just accepted the referral of a child to adopt through Madison Adoption Associates!  Now what do we do?”

The adoptive family should do the following research and preparation before submitting an Adoption Application to MAA to adopt a specific waiting child:

  1. Research the child’s special needs condition(s), including appropriate support groups for parenting a child with those special needs. Please refer to these medical resources as needed:
    1. Love Without Boundaries Special Needs Guide
    2. RainbowKids Medical Guide
    3. MAA Special Needs List
  2. Obtain detailed information from doctors, specialists, friends or families who have children with the same conditions.
  3. Identify medical specialists who can treat or consult about the condition of the child. If needed, please refer to this list of well-known International Adoption Medical Clinics.
  4. Be prepared to show proof of parental training, experience, education and/or understanding regarding the specific medical condition.

The following documents must be completed and sent to MAA. These documents may be scanned and sent via email to Sarah Hansen, MAA Child Advocate and Hosting Coordinator; however, we must receive the original signed documents for your adoption case file.

  • Agency Application
  • Letter of Intent
    Please refer to the Sample LOI for the format of this document. Two (2) originals of this letter, signed and notarized must be mailed to MAA for your adoption process. Your plan needs to be specific to the child you are intending to adopt. Please keep this letter to one (1) page. The letter MUST include the following:

(1) Information regarding your knowledge, experience, training, etc. concerning the special medical condition of the child. State that you are willing to provide the child with whatever medical course of action is necessary for their special need.
(2) Information regarding the medical review of the child’s referral file. Include the name and location of the medical professional who provided this review.
(3) Information regarding how you will help your child adjust to a new family, home, language, and culture. Include your plans for the child’s future education, medical treatments, surgeries, rehabilitation, therapies, etc.
(4) You MUST include that you will love and cherish the child, will never abandon, mistreat, or abuse the child, and that the child will have all of the same rights and inheritance as if born to you.
(5) State that you will complete the required post adoption reports at 6 weeks, 6 months & 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 years.

  • China Waiting Child Referral Agreement
    The letter must include the name of the doctor/facility who reviewed the child’s referral for you. If you have not received the full referral of your child in English and Chinese, please contact MAA to have this sent to you.
  • Passport style head photograph for each parent
    Color photos not more than 6 months old, measuring approximately 2 inches by 2 inches and show a clear, front view, full face of the person (no hats, sunglasses, etc.). Do not scan a copy of your actual passport we cannot use the photo that is already in your passport!
  • Application Fee
    The MAA application fee is $500. MAA also requires families to pay a portion of the agency fee ($3000) before we will lock your family to a child. MAA is required to pay a fee to CCCWA for locking (i.e., matching) a child’s referral on their database. For this reason, we cannot lock a child’s referral until we have received these fees. MAA is not currently set up to accept credit card payments. Please send a check or money order directly to the MAA Delaware Office.

Pre-Approval: Within a few days after locking your family with the child on CCCWA’s system, MAA will received a Pre-Approval (PA) notice that you are approved to move forward with the adoption. Your Caseworker will notify you when the PA has been issued for your case. Note: the Pre-Approval will also indicate your dossier submission deadline.

Preparing your Dossier to be Matched with a Child (Unmatched)

“We just submitted our application to MAA and plan to submit our dossier before accepting the referral of a child to adopt through Madison Adoption Associates!”

  1. Research special needs conditions listed on MAA’s Special Needs Questionnaire, including appropriate support groups for parenting a child with the special needs you selected. Please refer to these medical resources as needed:
    1. Love Without Boundaries Special Needs Guide
    2. RainbowKids Medical Guide
    3. MAA Special Needs List
  2. Line up the doctors and/or medical specialists who agree to provide their opinions and feedback about the child very quickly after receiving the referral file. There are doctors who specialize in evaluating the medical referrals for international children available for adoption. This can be challenging without advance planning! If needed, please refer to this list of well-known International Adoption Medical Clinics.