Adopting in Hong Kong

POSTED BY white (10 yrs ago)
Hi, we are considering adopting a baby in HK. We have been trying for a baby for too long and have tried everything!!Anyone gone through the adoption procedure here or also considering it? From what I understand it is a relatively uncomplicated one.Have a few mixed feelings right now but we are starting to go down that route. Any comments or suggestions are welcome. Thanks.
#1 POSTED BY Ruth at Clifford (10 yrs ago)
I have two friends who have adopted from China. They have websites with lots of links.

Best wishes and good luck!

cheers from Ruth
#2 POSTED BY cara (10 yrs ago)
i know four different families in HK that are currently at different stages of the process. one couple should be approved by the end of next week, then they just have to wait to be matched with a baby.

i have heard that they authorities try to make the process sound difficult to "weed" out those that are not serious enough about it.

good luck!
#3 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
Dear white, we were in the same situation 2 years ago. We tried IVF for a few times and it was a stressful process. It was difficult to give up that but finally we made up our minds (mainly was my mind) and we applied for the adoption with the Social Welfare Department here in Hong Kong. Although Ruth suggested her info. in China, if you are stationed here in Hong KOng, the best is to do it here. We knew it because we tried China as well. The Social Welfare Department is very efficient and it wont cost you a fortune. All the fees are clearly stated from the beginning, unlike the mainland. You see what i mean? It took us less than a year to finish the whole process. In fact we applied in December and we actually met the baby in May the next year. We wanted a girl and we were lucky that we were offered a baby girl. Mind you, unlike China, girls are more popular here. They even accept single parent as well. I know how you feel at the moment. But once your adoptive child is in your hands and once the bond is built, your feelings wl change. By the way, we got our daughter when she was 5 months old. Now she is a little person.

Cara is right about the authority weeding out those who are not really serious.

If you want to chat with me more about it, please feel free to send me messages. All the best.

#4 POSTED BY white (10 yrs ago)
Thank you for the replies. We have been to the briefing meeting and have filled out the questionaire in order to get the application form.That should be here within a week.Yes, I believe it is harder to get a baby girl which is dearly what we would love.Given the small figures of children up for adoption and those families eligible to adopt/waiting for a match, it is harder to get one.Your little girl was older at 5 mths. They have told us the youngest you could possibly get was 42+ days old. I can imagine what you are talking about in terms of the bond and what a joy your daughter is. I guess I am still coming to terms with the more than likely possibility that we may never have our own children and so getting my head around this may take a bit of time.It is just like part of the whole fertility process really...finding our you need treatment, going through all of the options and ending up doing IVF when at one stage you thought you'd never have to go that far. Three IVF attempts later and still no better off, you need to make the decision of looking at adopting...thinking again you'd never have to go that far to have a baby also but here we are. So, I guess it's just coming to terms with this fact is hard. I am sure you understand. Thank you.
#5 POSTED BY dsabline (10 yrs ago)
We have adopted two girls in Hong Kong. Both times we said we would take either a girl or boy with slight preference for girl. They were 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 months old. If you want any more information or want someone to talk to about the emotional aspects of the process feel free to send me a message.
#6 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
Hi, dsabline, I just dropped you a personal message.

#7 POSTED BY Matilda (10 yrs ago)
You may also try 'Mother's Choice'a charity in Hong Kong. They work with many categories of children and can be a great source of support for adopting parents, having a lot of advice and expertese. 25374122


Matilda International Hospital

#8 POSTED BY white (10 yrs ago)
Hi Mighty and Dsabline, very interested in chatting via e mail with you both as like I said we are in the beginning stages of adoption.How can we do this??? Through the control panel(tried and didn't know what to do!!)or in this forum thread??? Bit clutzey with all of this, sorry!!
#9 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
Hi white, you can just click on our names then you wl be able to send us private emails.
#10 POSTED BY Ruth at Clifford (10 yrs ago)
If you adopt from China, girls are the only sex available from what I have heard.

cheers from Ruth
#11 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
Yes, Ruth, i think you are right. But adopting from China is a lengthy and stressful process and wl cost you a fortune. Hong Kong is much better choice, I think.
#12 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
Also the Adoption Authority in China is more pro Americans. So it makes it even more difficult if you are not.
#13 POSTED BY bernadetteway (10 yrs ago)
Hi all, yes definitely here in HK is so much easier and efficient rather than China. We are in the process of doing so here but at the very early stages. Would love to chat with others who have adopted here. Anyone willing to share their experiences? Would love to hear about them as the support right now would be so appreciated. Thanks.
#14 POSTED BY cara (10 yrs ago)
just an update... my friends who put the paper work in in january this year are bringing their beautiful baby boy home this afternoon!

to jazzy...from what i've heard they are a little discouraging at the meetings in order to disuade people that are not as serious about adopting...they also make sure you know that because of the cosmopolitan nature of HK that you could get a baby of virtually any nationality(although more likely than not it will be a chinese boy)...
#15 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
jazzy67, when you said the first meeting, do you the briefing carried out by the Social Welfare Dept. That one is, to be honest, is nothing. They just want to give you a general idea of what adoption is, explain to you the whole process and then at the end of the meeting, they will give you a thick set of questionaaire. That questoinnaire is, in fact, your first step to adoption. Then you take that home, think and then fill it in and they shld give u a deadline of when to submit. I adopted last year so I hope my memory is still correct. Anyway, dont panic and be calm. The SWD is very friendly and do feel free to ask them questions. Good luck from my heart.
#16 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
jazzy67, I just assume that you are a couple and if yes, make sure that your hubby goes together with you. Because the SWD wl wait until both of you have attended the briefing and other meetings as well at later days before they allow you to submit the questionnaire. Good luck.
#17 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
Hi jazzy67, nice to hear that you almost come to the home study. Is your case worker a lady or a man? The reason why I asked is because there is only 1 male case worker and he IS a very nice person. If it is him, then life is easier. I dont mean he is lose in his judgements but I found him nice and friendly to talk to. Others are a bit businesslike. Home study is not at all difficult and please be relax. All they want to check if whether your house is children safe and is more or less a routine check. In our case, when he came for the first home study, our baby room was not ready. I mean the room is there but nothing was inside (like cot etc) coz we explained to him that we didnt know yet how old wld the baby be so we needed to wait until most of the things were finalized. We have a dog and so he also wants to check if the dog wl be alright with children. The whole study was very logical and from time to time he pointed out to us this and that to be improved which again were some friendly advices. So really relax and good luck (^-^).
#18 POSTED BY dsabline (10 yrs ago)
We have adopted twice in HK. Both times we had women for social workers. They were very nice and helpful. If you are a first time parent, one of the things they might ask about in your first meeting is your philosophy of parenting. Other than that, they asked mostly questions which clarified or expanded on our answers on the application form. Hope this is helpful to you.
#19 POSTED BY bernadetteway (10 yrs ago)
hi, we have filled out the application form and they just have sent back our medicals as there was one part our doctor forgot to fill in.I'll get them sorted this week and send them back. Does anyone have any idea of how long it takes after this and when the home study should start??? Also, my other question is I am working full-time and have no idea of when I should tell work of our plans and that perhaps I will either work part-time or resign. They don't know anything right now as I feel it is too early. Is it to early to discuss it and should I wait? Is there adoption leave in Hong Kong? Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Many thanks for any advice.
#20 POSTED BY dsabline (10 yrs ago)
The home study should start within a month of them receiving all of your paperwork. It takes three months to complete the home study, so basically it will be about 4 months until you are approved. I don't know how fast people are being matched right now. That is something the social worker can give you an idea about, although the answer may be vague because they don't want to give any guarantees. The first time we waited three months after being approved, the second time we were matched as soon as we were approved. As for adoption leave, I'm guessing it depends on your company. I'm not working so I can't help with that one.
#21 POSTED BY bernadetteway (10 yrs ago)
Many thanks for the replies, a big help.In respons to jazzy67, I believe it is the one home study but I may be wrong. Have you done the two workshops? We are do our 2nd next month in Septmeber.Gosh, to think we could be approved and waiting to be matched in four months, pretty exciting. Can anyone else give me some info on adoption leave in HK. Have been searching employment ordinance on the web but can't get any info at all. Any suggestions on where I can get this info would be great or if anyone was in the same situation when they were adopting. Thank you.
#22 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
Have you thought of calling the Labour Department and ask them if they have any info. on that? I doubt it though. Even if there isnt anything, it is worth talking to your companies to see if you can get their sympathy on you. We had 2 home studies but I dont know whether that is a standard thing or not coz in our case our case worker had pointed out something of concern on 1st visit so he came back to check. But really they are there to help and they are not trying to pick on you. So relax and do whatever you will do when you expect a baby. Then you ll be OK. Good luck.
#23 POSTED BY dsabline (10 yrs ago)
jazzy67, sorry I might have confused you with my reply. I mentioned two homestudies because we have adopted twice. Normally they only come to your home once during the homestudy, and you also meet the social worker in her office twice - once as a couple and once each separately. I would definitely recommed talking to your company about adoption leave. In our case it was for paternity leave because I wasn't working. We were a new case for them, but they made a new policy because of us.
#24 POSTED BY bernadetteway (10 yrs ago)
Hi all, thanks for the advice, I will speak to my comapany in the next few months about leave and hope they will be considerate. I really feel if I was pregnant they would be giving me 10 weeks off so they should consider that (I hope!!). So, there is only one home visit and separate and joint interviews during the three months. Seems like not a lot really, what else are they doing? I guess checking up on references, etc.Jazzy67, are you going to the workshop early September? Anyone else at the same stage of just handing in all their paperwork and waiting?
#25 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
My case worker went and interviewed 2 of our references and they were my hubby's coworkers (in the same premises). But everything was very simple in the interview. So really just routine check.
#26 POSTED BY bernadetteway (10 yrs ago)
Hi jazzy67, we are going to our second workshop on Monday evening, we did the first one in June.They don't notify you that you got a place, you just show up. They will only let you know if it is full. THe first w/shop was fine, a big group of people. It was great though meeting people in the same boat as you.Great to chat with them.Didn't realy get too much else out of the w/shop though, very Chinese set-up in terms of going through the motions/routine. You had to bring something connected to HK as in food,something associated with the country. Talk a little about it, why you chose it,etc. We divided into two groups to disuss an issue relating to adoption, can't remember what it was but that was the chance for us to chat, it was good. They showed us a power point on stats, etc. That was about it.Have you handed in all the paper work? Mighty, you seem to be ahead of us, are you?
#27 POSTED BY Mighty (10 yrs ago)
Hi bernadetteway, yes of course, I m ahead of you guys because we adopted our daughter last May. We adopted her when she was 5 months old. Sorry for the confusions but I was just talking about my experience. I can only say this after I experienced the whole process that Hong Kong is one of the easiest countries for adoption. And all the social workers there are fantastic too. Good luck to all of you!!
#28 POSTED BY bernadetteway (9 yrs ago)
Hi all again, did the 2nd workshop lat week and just got a letter today from the Social Welfare department to say our application has been accepted and to expect a call form our case worker in the next week or so. I think it a male one given the name. Looking forward to the next part. To all of you experienced in adopting, can any of you recommend some good books to read on adopting. Been looking on and there are so many. Knowing me, I will pick the wrongs ones. Any advice greatly appreciated. Now, we are getting excited!!!!
#29 POSTED BY Mighty (9 yrs ago)
Oh for books try contact the Adoptive Society of Hong Kong. I dont have its no. on hand but you can call Mother's Choice and they can tell u right away. This society organzies regular meetings for adoptive parents and it gets a lot of information to offer. Saw some books which I liked at one of their meetings. Good luck.
#30 POSTED BY dsabline (9 yrs ago)
Also try the public library. You can search the library catalog online at If you already have a library card, you can also reserve books online.

I don't know if it is available here, but I have a book that has been really helpful called The Whole Life Adoption Book by Jayne Schooler
#31 POSTED BY cara (9 yrs ago)
to adopt in HK you have to live in HK for 18 months before they will process your paper work...

can try mother's choice, they'll send you in the right direction.(i think that it's the social welfare dept)
#32 POSTED BY dsabline (9 yrs ago)
call the HK social welfare department at 2852-3107. this is definitely the way to go if you live in HK

#33 POSTED BY Mighty (9 yrs ago)
well cara might be right on the official requirements BUT if you are persistant enough and make the Social Welfare Department to believe that you are good parents, they will definitely consider your application even if you havent lived here long enough.
#34 POSTED BY bernadetteway (9 yrs ago)
hi all, it has been a while and would love to get in touch with all of you again! Want to let you know where we are at in the adoption process. Have done the 2 workshops, had both joint and separate interviews and the social worker is coming to our house next week for the home visit. Looking forward to talking with him again about what is next and how long more??? He is apparently talking with our references and contacting our overseas one at the moment. Just want to ask those who have adopted before, when you flled out the chid preference form, how specific were you? Am worried that if we put no for most, it will not look good and our chances will be less. Then, have heard of one couple who were open to more and were offered a lot of babies which they had to refuse as they felt they would not be able to cope with some of the needs as they were quite severe. Anyone offer some advice and what they put down and wanted? Thank you.
#35 POSTED BY dsabline (9 yrs ago)
I think that is one of the most difficult parts of the process. I would suggest taking the list to your doctor. We did this because we were not familiar with many of the items and he took time to explain some and to let us know which were minor problems, what could be corrected etc and what was very serious. This helped us so much. The best advice I have been given is just to be really honest with yourself about what you can handle. Also, if you aren't sure about something, there is a "maybe" option. Good luck.
#36 POSTED BY hkggirl (9 yrs ago)
We were very specific when we filled in the form. We consulted our family doctor first, as we did not understand a lot of the terms. Once we had filled in the form our caseworker also went through it again with us on a home visit to be sure we understood the implications of what we had said "yes" or "maybe" to. We changed some of our responses after this. Like a lot of people, we had initially thought saying "maybe" to more things was giving you more options but this is not necessarily a postive thing. At one of our workshops the caseworkers had said that rather than making you look very open to the child you will accept, it just makes you look wishy washy or unaware of the full implications. There is also no point saying you are prepared to accept a child with certain conditions when in fact you are not. The caseworkers had also said that you should put a lot of consideration into your answers on the form as the expectation is that there is a very high chance you will take the child that you are matched to, based on your answers, I think this is to avoid people thinking that they can just pick and choose from a number of babies. Hope this helps. p.s our beautiful adopted daughter has been with us for 6 months now.
#37 POSTED BY harrycarry (9 yrs ago)
IS there an age limit for couples wanting to adopt? Our children are grown up and we are in our fifties and financially secure. We thought we might be able to make a difference and give a better life to one or two children whose future might look bleak otherwise.
#38 POSTED BY dsabline (9 yrs ago)
The minimum age is 25, but there is no maximum age listed on the brochure I have. I would call the social welfare dept. The number is listed above in this post
#39 POSTED BY hkggirl (9 yrs ago)
I have known of people in late 40's adopting in HK through social welfare but I don't know if they do have an upper age limit. As previous post says give the socal welfare department a call but be prepared for them to try and put you off and if you are really keen don't take no for an answer and persist. Another option may be fostering children who are waiting for adoption
#40 POSTED BY bernadetteway (9 yrs ago)
Thank you to all on the advice of what to put for preferences, it was a big help. We had our home visit this afternoon and it was good. He was here for two hours, my hubbie said I talked too much!!!!We did go over our child preference form and I did change some answers.He is now following up on our references and hopefully we will get approved by early december. I do think we will be waiting for a long time as we would like a girl. hkgirl, how long were you waiting? Anyone else at the same stage as us???
#41 POSTED BY Daizy (9 yrs ago)
So happy to see a thread on adoption. We adopted our son from HK when he was only 2 months old. He is 1 already. I'm wondering if there are any Americans who have adopted here? Because the whole application for his US passport is taking forever. I am begining to think about adopting a second baby but with the delay of the US passport procedure I am not sure what to do.

Also, any adopted parents with 1 year olds who would like to meet for playgroups?

To those who are still in the process, best of luck and you will never regret it :) if you have any questions about anything at all, I would be happy to answer.
#42 POSTED BY dsabline (9 yrs ago)
Daizy, I am american and have adopted two girls. The US side does take some time. Do you know that if you wait for two years from the time you brought him home, he automatically gets US citizenship. You have to file a form and pay 200, but you don't have to do all the home studies, fingerprints etc. It's much easier and cheaper if you are not planning to move back to the US soon. I'd be glad to share more information with you if you want. By the way, where do you live? My youngest is 1 1/2 and we get together a couple times a week to play in Tai Po.
#43 POSTED BY Daizy (9 yrs ago)
Hi dsabline. I heard about that but at the time we weren't sure if would stay in Hong Kong that long. Right now some agency in the US is handling our case. we gave them all the documents they requested us and so i guess all we have to do is wait.

I would love to meet up but I think we live very far away from eachother. I live on Park Island, 10 minute bus from Tsing Yi, if its convinient for you to come over this side then that would be great.
#44 POSTED BY bernadetteway (9 yrs ago)
Hi all again, just want to let you know where we are up to. The social worker has been to our house and is no winthe process of interviewing the referees. He has said that al going well, we SHOULD be approved early December. Like I said though, our preference is for a baby girl and it will be hard. We may be waiting for a while.I want to task if anyone has any luck or looked into adopting from Thailand, Mainland China, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc? Don't know where to start if we are waiting too long here in HK and want to look elsewhere in Asia. Many, many thanks.
#45 POSTED BY Daizy (9 yrs ago)
I know a couple who waited around 3 or 4 months until they were matched with a daughter. She was less than 4 months old, so i guess by the time you look into adopting elsewhere you might get your daughter.
#46 POSTED BY bernadetteway (9 yrs ago)
Thanks Daizy. I know, I guess I am just worried in case we are waiting too long here and could have started the process elsewhere. But for sure will wait for now unti we are least approved. Have looked into China but all of the web sites are mainly for U.S. based citizens.Anyone got suggestions for getting info if YOU ARE NOT American? Thank you.
#47 POSTED BY bernadetteway (9 yrs ago)
Sorry to hear that jazzy67, do you mind if I ask what the complications are. Are you sure there are complications? All I seem to get on the net are agencies which are U.S. based which we're not.I wonder if the Social Welfare department here have any info. I might give them a call to see or maybe even Mother's Choice. Will let you know if I do get any info. Good luck with your adoption process!
#48 POSTED BY bernadetteway (9 yrs ago)
jazzy67, thanks, got your mail and have replied.
#49 POSTED BY bernadetteway (9 yrs ago)
hi jazzy67, I think they call the next stage after they have received your application the home study part whereby you go for joint interviews and then individual ones then they arrange to come and visit you at home, just one visit and check out your referees. That is the next stage.

Yes, when we got the same letter, we got a call from the social worker just within the two weeks and then we arranged for the interviews. At the interviews we talked about when he would come and visit us at home, had to wait longer than we wanted as we had family in town.It was fine, he ust came late in the afternoon, had a look around our flat, we told him which room was going to be the babys' room, etc. He was there for about an hour and a half, he needed to see some of our original documents, talked more about my husbands business as was not interested in my work as I am giving up once we get the baby.I feel coming to your home is just to see that you live in a flat that is suitable for a baby, that it's nice, etc.He asked if we had any plans to move as if we had he would have to come and see the new place again. That was about it really. Oh yes, we also discussed our child preferences to make sure we knew all. Hope this helps. I really feel they want you to be approved and so if there are any concerns they will tell you in order for you to try and improve/change things, etc.
#50 POSTED BY hkggirl (9 yrs ago)
Our adopted daughter has been with us for 6 months now, I have just checked back through our paperwork and from our very first expression of interest until our daughter came home it was 11 months. From the point of our home study investigation approval to our daughter coming home it was 4 months. I was speaking to our caseworker recently and he said that yes he was still very busy with matching babies/children. So be assured just when you think you will never be matched the telephone will ring.
#51 POSTED BY DeniseG (9 yrs ago)
My husband and I are also looking at adoption in Hong Kong. Any information would be gratefully accepted - we don't even know where to begin. Is there anyone out there who has been through the adoption process in Hong Kong who wouldn't mind talking to us?
#52 POSTED BY bernadetteway (9 yrs ago)
Hi, phone the Social Welfare Department and let them know you are interested in adopting. They will send you out info and ask you to attend a briefing session to see what is involved. If you still wish to persue the SWD are very helpful and basically you just follow the process. We are waiting to see if we are approved which hopefully will be in the next couple of weeks. So as yet have not gone through the whole proocess. But the SWD are very informative and willing to answer all of your questions. Have a look also at the above threads as you will get an idea of time frame and procedure involved.
#53 POSTED BY dsabline (9 yrs ago)
jazzy67, they send you a formal letter to tell you once you have been approved. in my experience, the social worker also lets you know and she will tell you when the next matching panel is. We did set up the baby's room ahead of time. You can at least get the basics. The two weeks between being matched and bringing the baby home are hectic enough without having to set up the room too.
#54 POSTED BY bernadetteway (9 yrs ago)
Hi, no, nothing yet!! He Our social worker said early December, which I am figuring is the first week. IF we don't hear anything by Saturday, I am going to phone him on Monday for sure.Dsabline, why do you say the two weeks befor eyouget your baby are so hectic??? What are you doing? Just want to get an idea. Thanks.
#55 POSTED BY dsabline (9 yrs ago)
At least for us they were pretty hectic. I'm sure it's partly because we didn't even know if we would get a boy or girl. Once you are matched, you will meet the baby within a few days. You then have two weeks (at most usually) before you bring them home. We brought our second daughter home after only one week. At your first meeting you find out what type of formula they are using, what size clothes they wear etc. You are allowed & encouraged to visit them as much as you can during that time. For us it meant going from Tai Po to Central, which is a long commute. Between visits, buying clothes, formula, diapers and all the other last minute items it was quite busy for us. And believe me, once you see your baby you want to spend as much time with her/him as you can, so I recommend doing as much as you can ahead of time.
#56 POSTED BY hkmeg (9 yrs ago)
Hi, I am an American social worker with experience in international adoptions and home studies. I just moved here to Hong Kong recently. Daizy, I'm curious why your child's US passport is taking so long. It's possible to have it expedited if you appear in person at a US passport agency with the proper paperwork, you can obtain it in less than a day. But perhaps there something about your circumstances I am not aware of...

Send me a message if you'd like to discuss!

#57 POSTED BY jen1812 (9 yrs ago)
Dear Jazzy67, I got my copy of Playtimes magazine in "Taste" at Festival Walk. In this month's issue there is an article about adoption in HK, and it will continue with Part 2 next month (March). The magazine is a great read and highly recommended. We're in the process of adoption too, our first one. Possibly only one. :) How did your interview go? Are you almost at the last stage now - the home visit? This is so exciting, isn't it? Do you mind me asking if you're ethnic Chinese or a foreigner?
#58 POSTED BY my thoughts (9 yrs ago)
Hi Jazzy67, how did you find your joint interview? It doesn't look like anyone responded to you on what to expect. Ours is next week, I'm wondering how to prepare....
#59 POSTED BY yoga (9 yrs ago)
Hi all, thought I would bring this back up as there are some good responses. QUESTION: has anyone here living in HK adopted a baby from Vietnam, China, Thailand, etc?? Wondering where to get this kind of info from. Any advice to point in the right direction would be great. Thanks.
#60 POSTED BY Scuba chick (9 yrs ago)
I met with International Social Service in HOng Kong

They deal with Adoption into HK from overseas. They can advise you on rules for each country. It will also depend on what nationality you are as well.
#61 POSTED BY yoga (9 yrs ago)
Thank you Scuba Chick,appreciate you responding. I have emailed them to get some info. Will wait to hear from them. Do you know if you have to be a Hong Kong permanent resident or just resident?
#62 POSTED BY my thoughts (9 yrs ago)
They were good Jazzy. Mine was very straightforward, my husband was married before (no kids) and she focussed a lot on what went wrong, lessons learned, etc. She's contacting our referees now and the home visit hasn't been scheduled. She said to plan for the paperwork to be finished by early May. How about you?

We have a consult scheduled with our pediatrician to go over the child preference many of the medical conditions listed I've never even heard of.

Are you looking into an overseas adoption as well Jazzy? And how is it you're involved in a Vietnamese orphanage? Don't you just want to take them ALL home with you?!

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