Adopting Waiting Children

DSCN3464Many children are currently waiting to be adopted because of their age, medical needs or status as a member of a sibling group.  These children are no less deserving of a family of their own, and Hand In Hand actively advocates for loving families for these waiting children.

Waiting children may need families who are open to various medical conditions from correctable to more significant, or they may need parents who are open to children over the age of six.  Many Hand In Hand families have brought home waiting children over the years.

Hand In Hand’s list of currently waiting children in the Philippine, China and Eastern Europe changes frequently. You may view PDF files of currently waiting children here:




Philippines Special Home Find Program

Special Home Find is a process to find families for children in the Philippines who either: 1) have a special need, or 2) are over 9 years old, or 3) are part of a sibling group of 2 or more generally older children. Families who apply for these children may be either brand new or those who have already submitted an application to the Philippines. Singles and married couples over 27 years old may apply.  Detailed family requirements are available on Hand In Hand’s Philippines Program Page, but exceptions to some of the family guidelines may be considered for the Special Home Find Program.


See written information about children who are waiting for families by asking for a comprehensive list from or by seeing it on the Hand In Hand Facebook page, website, or e-newsletter.

•When you see a child you want to learn more about, ask a Hand In Hand office to send you more complete information, including a photo.

•Understand that the Philippine government has shared the children’s information with several agencies around the world all at the same time, so it is possible that other families are considering the same child at the same time.

•Be sure you meet the eligibility requirements for adoption from the Philippines by checking the Philippines Adoption Program page.

•Identify a child you would like to adopt and inform a Hand In Hand office. We will then confer with the Intercountry Adoption Board (ICAB) in the Philippines to confirm the child is still waiting to be matched and then ask to have that child placed on hold for you.

•If you are not already a Hand In Hand family, then you will submit an application, fee agreement and application fee to Hand In Hand. We will then work with you to complete a home study, immigration approval, and a dossier. The dossier will be submitted to ICAB in the Philippines where they will expedite its review.

•ICAB will review your dossier and the case study and recommendation written on the child by the child-caring agency to determine whether they agree it is a good match. Occasionally ICAB will ask for more information from the family or share updated information on the child with the family to ensure the family is still interested.

•Once ICAB approves and formally matches you to the child, we will assist you with the remaining immigration process and prepare you for your travel.

•Travel is required. The trip is one week long. Both parents are strongly encouraged to travel.

• The process may take up to one year to complete.

•Philippine children are brought home under guardianship and later adopted in the US after a six-month post placement period in which three post placement reports will be completed.

For more information, contact Vickie Truelove, Philippine Program Director, at or by phone at 260-636-3566.

China Special Focus Program

Hand in Hand has been approved by the CCAA to be a part of a “Special Needs” adoption program.

Children in China are classified as “Special Focus” if they are identified as having a special need and they have not been matched to a family after at least one month of being available for matching. At that time the child can be assigned to one agency to try to find a family for the child. The family can be one that has already submitted an application or a brand new family. It is also possible to adopt more than one child at a time from China, either simultaneously or consecutively within one year, as long as at least one of them is considered “Special Focus”.


  • See or read about a child you are interested in or ask to be provided a descriptive list of children who are waiting.
  • Contact a Hand In Hand office to have that child’s photos and complete medical and developmental information shared with you.
  • If you want, you may share the child’s information with your doctor or with one of the many recognized international adoption clinics. (You may ask a Hand In Hand office for a listing of these.)
  • Confirm that you meet the requirements as adoptive applicants for China. See the China program page or talk to a Hand In Hand office, since China may be willing to make some exceptions, e.g. for maximum age of a parent.
  • Once you decide on a child you want to adopt, contact a Hand In Hand office immediately. You will be emailed two forms to complete and return to us along with a family photo and a passport photo of each parent.
  • If you are not yet a Hand In Hand family, you will also have to submit an application and application fee.
  • Your forms and photos will then be submitted electronically to the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA).
  • If the CCAA agrees that you likely meet the requirements to adopt, they will issue a Pre-Approval.
  • You then have six months to submit a dossier to China. This may seem lengthy, but it can take nearly that long to complete a home study, be approved by US Immigration, and get your dossier authenticated and translated and submitted. Hand In Hand will work with you to help meet this timeline.
  • Once your dossier has been submitted to the CCAA, they will review it to determine whether to officially match you to the child you have been pre-approved for. When you are officially matched, you will receive a Letter of Seeking Confirmation.
  • Hand In Hand will then assist you with gaining Immigration approval for the child and with the preliminary visa process.
  • Eventually you will receive permission to travel, and we will assist you with planning your trip, which will be approximately two weeks long.
  • It may take 12 to 18 months to complete the process and be home with your child. Work in cooperation with Hand In Hand during each step of the process to accomplish the tasks as promptly as you can.
  • Once home, you will be required to have sixe post placement visits, both because the CCAA requires them and because they are helpful to you as you get to know your child and determine his/her needs.

For more information, please contact Vicki Truelove, China Program Director, at or by phone at 260-636-3566