Children’s House International (CHI) is non-profit international adoption agency serving adoptive families across the U.S. They are fully licensed in FL, LA, MA, TX, UT, and WA. 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 ~25% from Ethiopia, with the remaining countries making up ~25%.
Founded in 1975, CHI has been doing adoptions for over 41 years.
Successful Adoption Rate
The agency placed 147 children in 2015.
Adoption through CHI involves the following steps:
- Home Study, Dossier, & Other Paperwork (CHI can do home studies in Washington, Florida, and Utah)
- Child Referral
- Travel & Court Hearing
- Child comes home
- U.S. Citizenship
- 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 4 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 1 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.
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.
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.
CHI does only international adoptions.