Answers to Your Questions About “LID-only” Adoption

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If you are considering adoption from China, there can often be some confusion on how the adoption process works. We often share the need for families of children who are designated “LID-only” leaving many families who are new to the process asking some of the following questions:

  • What is LID-only?
  • Why aren’t there more minor medical needs children available?
  • How do I adopt an LID-only child?

In the past couple of years, China has restructured the adoption process and how they categorize a child’s adoption file. We want to help answer your questions so you can confidently move forward in your plans to adopt.


What is LID-only?

“LID” is an acronym for “Log In Date”. It specifically refers to the date that a family’s dossier(the paperwork a family creates to adopt) is logged into the China Center for Children’s Welfare & Adoption (CCCWA), which is the central governmental authority for international adoption in China. The CCCWA can designate a specific child as “LID-only” meaning that child can only be matched with a family whose dossier is already logged in (LID) with the CCCWA. Typically, children who are LID-only are usually a bit easier to place with a family because they typically have a minor/correctable or repaired medical condition and/or may often be younger. This designation is determined by the CCCWA, not America World or any other agency. It is also why many of the children we normally advocate for on our website and blog may have more moderate medical needs.

LID-only children are usually matched immediately with families who have already begun the process to adopt with America World and already have an official dossier log in date. The matching is based on a family’s child match request. On some occasions, an LID-only child is not immediately matched with a family. This is when we advocate for a specific LID-only child allowing any LID family to consider the adoption of that specific child.


Why Aren’t More Minor Medical Needs Children Available?

There are many minor medical needs children available! When a child becomes available for adoption, the CCCWA designates what type of file the child will have. In most cases the file will either be LID-only or Special Focus. For children who are likely to be placed more easily, the file will often be designated as LID-only. Other files, those with less minor, moderate or severe medical needs, will be designated as “Special Focus”. Children with the designation “Special Focus” can be referred to the shared referral list–a list of referrals available to all agencies worldwide–or designated to a specific agency–usually through an agency’s orphanage partnership program (also known as the one-to-one program).

Since most LID-only files are immediately matched to families who are already in a China program at an agency, most of the available referrals left after matching, are Special Focus children.


How Can I Adopt an LID-only Child?

While it can be frustrating to see a LID-only child available, yet not be eligible to adopt him/her, we would encourage families who are called to adopt from China to submit their applications to begin the process of building their dossier. Once the dossier is completed and officially logged into the CCCWA’s system, it allows a family to be eligible for a LID-only child.

If your family is interesting in adoption- now is a great time to apply to our China program! Due to our orphanage partnership program and the number of files being received, our families are currently seeing adoption process timelines from start to home with their child at 10-18 months for a boy with commonly seen medical needs, or 12-24 months for a girl with commonly seen medical needs. (based on a dossier building timeframe of 6 months or less)

To learn more, please contact our China program at 800.429.3369 or by email at You can also apply online at



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