Formally known as the Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan is an East Asian island that is home to over 23 million residents – and among them are the many children in need of loving families. Usually ranging from infancy to 12 years of age, these children often have complex backgrounds and have special needs that could not be accommodated in their places of birth.
If you are interested in adopting a child from Taiwan, the information on this page will give you everything you need to know to get started.
Taiwan Adoption Quick Facts
- Hague Convention Country: No
- Adoption authority: Child Welfare Bureau
- Average U.S. adoptions per year:50-80
- Average travel time for adoption: 5-7 days
Who Can Adopt in Taiwan?
Taiwan has specific adoption requirements that adoptive parents must meet in addition to the Hague Convention requirements that all U.S. families must follow. To be eligible to adopt in Taiwan, you must meet the following criteria:
Individuals must be at least 20 years older than the child they wish to adopt. If adopting as a couple, one spouse must be at least 20 years older than the child, and the other must be at least 16 years older.
Individuals and married couples are permitted to adopt in Taiwan. Couples must adopt jointly. LGBT individuals are not prohibited from adopting in Taiwan, but Taiwan law does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Taiwan requires adoptive parents to have a stable residence and income as well as legitimate employment.
Who Can Be Adopted in Taiwan?
In order to be adopted, a child must be proven to have been relinquished or abandoned by the birth parents, if living. In most cases, parents will be unable to adopt a child if that child is related to them by blood or marriage.
There are both boys and girls available for adoption in Taiwan, ranging from infancy to 12 years of age. Families should be open to a child who is at least 3 years of age, although younger children are available.
Taiwan Adoption Process
Parents adopting in Taiwan must meet the Hague Convention requirements as well as complete the Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) process. The steps of this process are detailed in the sections below.
How Long Does it Take to Adopt in Taiwan?
For the average family, adopting a child in Taiwan can take anywhere between one and three years depending on your wait time. This time will usually be shorter in cases of older child or special needs adoptions.
The time for the adoption process also includes compiling your dossier, completing your home study, and travelling to complete the adoption. To learn more about the expected time frame of your adoption, speak to your adoption professional.
How Do I Find an Adoption Professional?
Your adoption professional must be Hague-accredited in accordance with the Universal Accreditation Act and also licensed to work in Taiwan. Below, you will find a list of adoption service providers with programs in Taiwan:
How Do I Become Eligible to Adopt?
Before you can adopt in Taiwan, you must be first deemed eligible to adopt by U.S. authorities. To do this, you will need to file a Form I-600A with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form indicates that you are seeking approval to adopt a child from a non-Hague Convention country.
After you have been approved to adopt by USCIS, you can begin the wait time for a match. Your adoption professional in Taiwan will notify you when they have identified a child that would be a good fit for your family. At that point, you must decide whether you will be able to meet the needs of that child and accept the referral.
What Do I Do after I Receive a Referral?
Once you have been matched with a child, you will begin the Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) process. This is a program that some non-Hague countries implement when working with the United States, which helps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child to be adopted.
The PAIR process will begin by filing the Form I-600, in which you apply for approval for your child to immigrate to the United States. You will submit this form to the USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC), who will give you preliminary approval if all of the adoption requirements are met.
When you file your I-600, you should also include:
- The Taiwan Household Registry of the child and the birth parents
- The contract between the birth parents and the Taiwan adoption professional, if applicable
- A signed agreement between the birth parents and adoptive parents
- Information on the child
- English translations for foreign documents
Once you are approved, you will receive a PAIR letter and USCIS will forward your information to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).
Your adoption will usually be finalized 5-6 months after you have been matched with a child. In order to complete the adoption, you will need to travel to Taiwan, appear in court to receive the adoption decree, and then receive the final approval for your Form I-600.
How Do I Finalize My Adoption?
After your adoption has been completed, you will need to obtain a birth certificate, Taiwan passport, and visa for your child. Your adoption professional will guide you through the process of getting these documents. After you have sent in your applications and the necessary documents, you will attend a visa interview. Then, once you are approved, you will be able to return home with your child.
Additionally, you will need to complete a re-adoption in order to secure your child’s American citizenship. This can be done in a U.S. court.
Financing Your Taiwan Adoption
Adoption in Taiwan is estimated to cost $20,000-$35,000. This is the sum of all of the costs of adoption, including:
- Agency fees
- Foreign program fees
- Travel expenses
- Documentation and application fees
- Legal and home study fees
- Additional third-party fees
While there is no way to accurately predict the cost of your adoption, there are ways you can prepare financially. Speak with your adoption professional to learn what types of expenses you have to pay and when they are due, and plan your budget accordingly. Additionally, you can see if you are eligible to apply for any adoption loans or grants.
Taiwan Travel Tips
Your trip to Taiwan will last about one week. While you are visiting, here are some things you will want to keep in mind:
- Certain areas or Taiwan are prone to year-round rain and typhoons, so travelers should dress and pack accordingly.
- Taiwan has two major train systems that cover the major cities and are often very convenient. There is also a bus network that is typically cheaper.
- People do not usually tip at restaurants or in taxis in Taiwan. Like many Asian countries, adding a tip is simply not customary.
U.S. Assistance in Taiwan
Whenever you travel to another country, you should have the contact information for the U.S. Embassy or other assistance for U.S. citizens. Below, you can find the information for The American Institute in Taiwan:
Address: 3rd Floor, Consular Section #7, Lane 134, Hsin Yi Road, Section 3, Taipei, 106 Taiwan
Phone: +(886) 2-2162-2000