Waiting Children

Dear Prospective Adoptive Parents,

Thank you for considering parenting a child with special needs. When you open this page, we feel we know you already: you’re a very special person with a big heart! It takes a lot of courage and many sleepless nights to feel comfortable with the decision to adopt a child with special needs. We hope this page will help you make a final decision.

I have visited many Chinese welfare institutes and met with many children who had special needs. My heart aches when I think of those children who come into this world with physical disadvantages. There are many such children waiting for adoption in Brookline, MA.

There are many children with conditions that can be fixed quite easily. They are left un-adopted because of families' concerns with unclear medical conditions or lack of information. With that said, the China Center of Children's Welfare and Adoption Affairs will not place a child with you if you do not feel comfortable with his or her condition, even if this condition is medically correctable.

China Adoption with Love, Inc. has two special needs programs: one we call Common List and the other program is the Special Focus List. The files in the Special Focus List have children with more severe needs, and the CCCWA allows families to submit their dossiers within six months after pre-approval. The CCCWA allows agencies to match only for the families whose dossiers are in China already from the Common List, for they consider the children on this list have minor medical needs. Our agency does request that some special focus children be assigned to our agency's individual list, but we do so only at the request of our families.
I have never forgotten the children I met in the Chinese welfare institutes. Many times I have looked into their eyes with sorrow in my heart, and every time they have looked quietly back into my eyes with questions and with hope.

Families like yours are the hope for our children. Our international adoption agency has placed children with medical needs since 1997, and we placed many waiting children who have had a large range of medical conditions. So far, all the families who have adopted waiting children have had only positive things to say about their experience. We would love to talk to you and to learn about your feelings and expectations regarding the adoption of a special needs child.

Because the wait for a healthy infant is extremely long, we do receive more inquiries about waiting children program. However, the long wait should not be a reason to consider a waiting child. It is not fair to the child, and it is also not fair to you if he or she is not the very best for you. We do not accept applications from families who only want a female infant or toddlers with minor medical needs such as cleft lip only; birthmark, not on the face; heart murmur, not heart defects; delayed but not really delayed; etc.

Yes, we are a small agency, and we take great pride with our personable and honest style, with our low fees and with our service quality. Yes, we are a small agency, but we do not feel small at all. Each placement is a big project for us, and our prospective adoptive parents are the team leaders in this incredible adoption journey. We admire your good heart and endless energy, and we grow with our work experience and with the support of the amazing adoption community we are so honored to work in.

—Lillian Zhang, Director

Wulanchabu Children's Welfare Institute in Inner Mongolia, China

- Once our friend, forever our friend! In the summer of 2015, the orphanage hosted two summer service camps for the Chinese adoptees who grow up in the United States. Each group of teenage girls lived and worked in the orphanage for three weeks. It is a lifetime experience for all of us involved. 

Waiting Children

Many children in the Waiting Child program may not be physically perfect. Often, they have a special need that can be corrected or medically treated in some fashion. Other than having a special need, some children in this program may be considered an older child (children over 8 years of age). We hope that these children too can be placed in loving homes and have their needs met. A variety of different special needs are commonly seen in the children from China.

Below, you will find information to outline what some of these needs are and what they entail. It is important if you are considering a child with a special need that you are informed about their condition and feel comfortable with your decision to make them a part of your forever family. Children may be:

  1. 1 to 13 Years Old, Boys & Girls, Children with Severe Medical Conditions Such as:
    • Cleft Palate/Lip
    • Heart Defects
    • Hearing Loss
    • Dislocated Hips
    • Albinism
    • Orthopedic Problems
    • Blindness
    • Severe Scars
    • Hepatitis B
    • Etc.
  2. Healthy Children 8 Years Old & above Children with a Medical History: Heart & Other Surgeries, Etc.

For the waiting children we recommend, please begin here:


The China Center of Children's Welfare and Adoption Affairs prefers married couples younger than 55 years old. General qualifications are specified on the informational page.

How to Apply to Our Program

  • Contact Lillian, our director, about our program for waiting children and the files on our agency's individual list.
  • If you are interested in a specific child in our program, our agency will email you a complete file which you can then show your doctor for evaluation.
  • At your request, our agency will order more/new tests and measurements from the Chinese welfare institute through CCCWA.
  • Please discuss your intentions to adopt a special needs child with your social worker because your home study needs to approve you to adopt a child with certain special needs.
  • We request that you talk to adoptive parents who have adopted waiting children before.
  • Fill out the Rehabilitation Plan form for the CCCWA's preliminary approval. After we send your dossier to China, you will get a letter of acceptance (LOA) for you to apply for the I-800 pre-approval that will lead to your final approval in the form of a Travel Notice document from CCCWA.
  • Review the agency's Adoption Program page to learn how to start the document process.
  • Please feel free to contact us at (617) 731-0798 for a more detailed informational package that also reviews the steps and fees for the Waiting Children Program.

Agency Policies

In the best interests of our children, and in the best interests of our prospective parents, we have agency guidelines regarding the dissemination of waiting children's files. It is our most sincere hope that we do find families for these children, but we feel the need to do this in a way that is the most respectful:

  • We only show one child's profile to one family at a time. Only if there is no match will we then show the child's profile to another potential family.
  • We do not post children's photos online.

You are welcome to give us your contact information about what special needs you are considering without sending in an application. However, please be aware that we approach families already in the process of adoption with CAWLI who have indicated their desire to adopt a special needs child before approaching families who have not yet started the process.

Contact us today to discuss the process of adopting a special needs child. Headquartered in Brookline, Massachusetts, we help families across the country to adopt children from China.