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Children's House International Adoptions

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LAST UPDATED: June 27th, 2019

Children’s House International (CHI) is non-profit international adoption agency serving adoptive families across the United States. It is fully licensed in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Texas, Utah, and Washington. The agency’s focus is supporting families in the adoption process while serving disadvantaged children through various humanitarian efforts.

CHI currently has programs operating in 11 countries: Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Hungary, India, Mexico, Poland, Republic of Georgia, Romania, and Ukraine. In 2015, about half of the 147 placements were made through the China program and approximately 25 percent from Ethiopia, with the remaining countries making up approximately 25 percent.


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The Good

  • Adoption Process
  • Training
  • Fees and Financing
  • Post-Adoption Protection

Adoption Process

Adoption through CHI involves the following steps:

  1. Application
  2. Home Study, Dossier, & Other Paperwork (CHI can do home studies in Washington, Florida, and Utah)
  3. Child Referral
  4. Travel & Court Hearing
  5. Child comes home
  6. U.S. Citizenship
  7. Post Adoption Reports

Each of the individual country's programs differs in specific eligibility requirements, demographic of children available, and wait times. For example, to adopt from China, married couples must be between the ages of 30-55, have four or fewer children under age 18 in the home, and can't have a BMI (body mass index) over 40. The wait time is generally about one year for the entire process. Within six months of their dossier submission, families can expect to have their adoption completed. Many older children and children with special needs are available to adopt in China. More than 70 percent are boys with correctable special needs, such as cleft lip and palate, cerebral palsy, and developmental delays. Most children are between the ages of 2 and 13 years old.


Adoptive parents must complete at least 10 hours of adoptive parent training that covers Hague-compliant topics during the home study process. CHI recommends using Heart of the Matter Seminars, which has an online program called "Because They Waited." This purchase includes certificates of completion for both parents. CHI clients can earn some training hours without needing to pay by using the education provided by the nonprofit organization Creating a Family, which has over 90 course hours of training available. Families working through CHI should definitely check out additional online courses specific to the countries they are adopting from: Adopting from China, Adopting from African Countries, or Adopting from East European Countries.

Fees and Financing

Each country's program has different costs associated with it but the cost of the China program-CHI's largest one-is outlined here:

  • Application: $700 (due with application)
  • Agency fee: $7,100 (half due at application acceptance; half due at home study approval)
  • Post adoption report deposit: $500
  • Dossier, translation, wire fees (due at dossier submission): $2,000
  • In-country liaison fee: $500
  • One-to-One partnership fee: $160
  • China third party fees: $6,000
  • Total paid to CHI: $16,800-16,960

Estimates for additional expenses to other service providers:

  • Home study expenses: $1650-3750
  • Legal expenses: $2060-4760
  • Pre-travel expenses: $3000-4400
  • In-country expenses: $4460-6500

TOTAL ADOPTION COSTS: $27,970-36,370

CHI families have access to the Adoption Finance Coach, which helps families establish a financing plan. CHI also provides information about various adoption loans, including one through America's Christian Credit Union, the federal adoption tax credit, Brittany's Hope Foundation, and a number of other religious-based programs and other options for relieving adoption expenses.

Post-Adoption Protection

Adoptions do not always go as planned, due to adoptive parents withdrawing, transferring to another program, or being placed on hold (because of pregnancy, for example). In these cases, CHI is able to refund or transfer many of the fees already paid to another adoption. In the event a country suspends or stops adoptions, program fees received by CHI can be refunded. CHI provides post placement supervision and counseling for adoptive families after the adoption is complete.


The Bad

  • Adoption types

Adoption Types

CHI does only international adoptions. This limits the options that an adopting families has. If you are a family looking to adopt domestically, this is not the right agency for you. 


The Bottom Line

Children's House International is a great option for international adoption. Their number of programs offered as well as number of placements, is impressive. Any U.S. citizen can work with CHI, including U.S. citizens living abroad. The total expected cost for an adoption may seem high, but it's in the expected range for international adoption, and their agency fee of $7,100 is reasonable. Additionally, CHI also facilitates embryo adoption, which is about half the cost of an international adoption.

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