The China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) has proposed and the Department of State has agreed that beginning January 1, 2009, all adoption cases between the U.S. and China will be processed by China as Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention cases. The Department of State has received assurances that under the new process, transition cases (as defined by the Intercountry Adoption Act), will not be negatively affected. CCAA has assured us that even though they officially consider all adoption cases to be Convention cases as of January 1, the actual process for transition cases will not significantly change. Under the new process, as of January 1, 2009, CCAA will send out the same documents for all cases (transition cases and Convention cases). These documents will include the “Letter of Seeking Confirmation from Adopter” at the time the referral is sent. For transition cases, families will not be required to sign and return this letter.
The new procedures required by China will not conflict with U.S. policies and procedures for Hague Adoption Convention visa processing. For cases in which I-800A’s are filed after April 1, 2008, China now requires a “Letter of Seeking Confirmation from the Adopter,” which must be signed by the petitioners and returned to CCAA, and a “Letter of Seeking Confirmation” from the U.S. Central Authority. U.S. Consulate Guangzhou will sign and return this second letter to CCAA after they have received and reviewed the petitioner’s visa application (DS-230) and their provisionally approved I-800. In Convention cases prospective adoptive parents will receive notice to travel and finalize the adoption from CCAA only after CCAA receives the two “Letters of Seeking Confirmation.” As with the transition process, in order to prevent unpredictable length of stays in China, prospective adoptive parents should not travel until they have received notice to travel from CCAA to finalize the adoption, and confirmation from the U.S. Consulate Guangzhou that their visa interview has been scheduled.