China hero


America World is a China adoption agency and has seen thousands of families travel to China to bring their children home. While in-country, our experienced guides provide have navigated the adoption process for our families since 1994, allowing America World families to focus on their child. Learn more about how to adopt a child from China below. With over 4,600 children placed into forever families with the help of a staff of caring, loving professionals, America World's experience in international adoption is second to none. 

About Chinese Adoption

In 1994, Brian and Renée Luwis traveled to China to adopt their first daughter, Fei. Overwhelmed with a loving desire to help the thousands of orphaned children find families of their own, they founded the America World Adoption Association (originally "America China Adoption Association" until 2001 when the Russia and Ukraine programs were added). Since then, nearly 3,000 orphans from China have been placed into loving Christ-centered families where they are now growing up in the love of Jesus Christ.

America World has had a long-standing great reputation with the China Center for Children's Welfare & Adoption (CCCWA) and authorities there. AWAA's in-country staff, who also travel with our families during their adoption in China, and the AWAA-CCCWA liaison work closely with the CCCWA and orphanage directors.

Featured Waiting Child:  Baby "MItchell"

China boy needs adopted

Little Mitchell has a smile that lights up any room! This sweet boy just turned 2-years-old in November. His nannies describe him as a child that is very attentive, pays attention to details, is determined, and figures out ways to do things.  He is very social and outgoing, but is also able to entertain himself when the nanny is busy with other children. He smiles back when smiled at and understands the nannies’ facial expressions. He can speak a few words, but his language is delayed. When he sees his familiar nanny, he will reach out to show that he wants a hug. He giggles loudly when playing with his peers and loves to play with balls, a rag doll, and particularly the football. He is very close to his nanny and has a strong bond with her and often gets upset when she has to pay attention to other children and not just him or feed other children first before him. He loves when the nanny talks to him and teases him. He enjoys riding on a wooden horse and is very cooperative with his therapists for rehabilitation training.

While Mitchell does not have a specific diagnosis in his file, his left elbow cannot bend and he has limited strength in his arms and legs as well as joint issues with his hands/wrist and has been undergoing extensive rehab training. They have seen good improvement in the use of his hands since undergoing rehab and he is now able to grasp more objects than before. His left hand has improved the most and can now grasp objects that are heavier. He compensates for the lack of strength/use of his hands/wrists by using his strong legs and feet and toes.

His file notes so many examples of ways he has learned to play with objects or pick things up by using his feet and toes to grasp and pull items towards himself or to kick a ball, etc. He is a smart child and will use his feet to get toys out that have gone under the sofa and will use his feet and mouth to remove his socks when he wants them off. His file notes that while he has strength in his legs to perform certain tasks, he has low muscle tension and cannot walk yet and they are hopeful that with therapy this will improve. His file notes that he will scoot on his bottom in order to get from place to place. He is very determined to do the same things as other children, even though he has some limitations at this time. The nannies have been amazed at the ways he has learned to compensate and accomplish the same tasks as other children.

His file is extremely detailed with a lot of wonderful developmental information and benchmarks and any family interested in reviewing his file can be connected with individuals who have visited his orphanage. This little guy could likely reach many milestones if given the opportunity, and will likely need additional ongoing rehabilitation therapy in addition to any other treatments his doctors recommend. His paperwork is an America World Adoption orphanage partner file and a family in any stage or even considering adoption would be eligible to consider his adoption.

If you would like to learn more about making Mitchell a part of your family contact for more information. 

Waiting Children: Older and Medical Needs Adoption

America World China Adoption Photolistings of Chinese Waiting Children who are ready for international adoption. You can request to view their profiles by visiting our Waiting Children web page. China Waiting Children are children of all ages who have repaired or unrepaired medical needs or are older children (generally 8-13 years) with no known medical needs. Families interested in learning more about a child may submit a free pre-application to America World to verify eligibility or to be given the approval to review a waiting child's complete file. Many of the children whose files become available in China for matching with families through a U.S. based adoption agency are considered Waiting Children, due to their age and/or medical needs. While more children are adopted domestically in China, many children continue to wait for a family. The wait time to be matched with a child through the Waiting Child is significantly shorter than wait times seen in the China program previously.

China's International Adoption Process

The process of adopting a child from China is divided into three main stages. The first stage involves assembling a collection of documents called a dossier. These documents must go through several levels of authentication by U.S. government offices so that they ultimately can be used as the legal framework for your adoption process. This stage is referred to as the "paper chase" or "paper pregnancy", and takes on average 4-6 months to complete. The finished dossier is mailed to America World where our staff carefully reviews it to ensure accuracy. Once approved, the dossier is forwarded to the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) for translation and processing. The CCCWA, or "Center" as it is sometimes called, is the federal agency which oversees all international adoption-related activities in China.

After your dossier is received by the CCCWA, you begin stage two, the waiting stage. The process of matching a family with a child is called the referral process. The wait time for a referral varies - please check our blog for the most up-to-date trends. The referral is comprised of several photos, a medical profile, a brief biography of the child’s life, a developmental and social report, as well as other general information. The waiting stage is a great time to research (China culture, bonding time with your adopted child, etc.), talk to adoptive families for tips and ideas, fundraise to help with adoption expenses, and prepare in general for your new addition.

Once you have accepted your referral, we begin planning the details of your travel, the third and final stage of your adoption process. Our travel department will handle all of the details for your family’s travel. Families generally leave for China approximately 2-3 months after they receive a referral and stay in China for roughly two weeks to complete the China adoption process. While in China, families are united with their child, complete their adoption paperwork, and tour some of the country’s rich cultural sites. Typically, America World families arrive in Bejing and meet up with other America World families in their group (group sizes vary). Sightseeing with your America World guide is next on the agenda so that families can experience the rich culture of China to share with their child. Some of the places that our families visit are the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace. After a day or two in Bejing, families travel to the province where their child is living, to meet them and begin the adoption procedures.

The staff at America World is trained to handle every detail of your international adoption process and one of our experienced staff members will be assigned to your family as soon as your application is approved. America World Adoption has been working with the CCCWA since China first opened its doors to international adoption in the early 1990's and have placed over 2,900 Chinese children in loving homes.


Be sure to visit our Financing Adoption page to learn how to reduce or eliminate your China adoption expenses!