ADOPTION LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

Date of PostOctomber 9, 2005        Source: CCAA
Contents
Chapter General Provisions
Chapter
The Establishment of Adoptive Relationship
Chapter Validity of Adoption
Chapter Termination of the Adoptive Relationship
Chapter Legal Responsibility
Chapter Supplementary Provisions

Chapter

General Provisions

Article 1 This Law is enacted to protect the lawful adoptive relationship and to safeguard the rights of parties involved in the adoptive relationship.

Article 2 Adoption shall be in the interest of the upbringing and growth of adopted minors and in the protection of the legitimate rights of the adoptee and the adopter, in conformity with the principle of equality and voluntariness, and not in contravention of social morality.

Article 3 Adoption shall not contravene laws and regulations on family planning.

Chapter

The Establishment of adoptive relationship

Article 4 Minors under the age of 14, as enumerated below, may be adopted.
(1)orphans bereaved of parents;
(2)abandoned infants or children whose parents cannot be ascertained or found; or
(3)children whose parents are unable to rear them due to unusual difficulties.

Article 5 The following citizens or institutions are entitled to place out children for adoption:
(1)guardians of an orphan;
(2)social welfare institutions;
(3)parents unable to rear their children due to unusual difficulties.

Article 6 Adopters shall meet simultaneously the following requirements;
(1)childless;
(2)capable of rearing and educating the adoptee;
(3)no illness which is deemed medically as inappropriate for the adopter to adopt children; and
(4)having reached the age of 30.

Article 7 The adoption of a child belonging to a collateral relative by blood of the same generation and up to the third degree of kinship, may not be confined to the restrictions specified in Item (3), Article 4; Item (3), Article 5; and Article 9 of this law as well as the restriction of a minor under the age of 14.

An overseas Chinese, in adopting a child belonging to a collateral relative by blood of the same generation and up to the third degree of kinship, may even be not subject to the adopter childless status.

Article 8 The adopter may adopt one child only, male or female.
Orphans, disabled children or abandoned infants and children, who are raised in the social welfare institutes, and whose biological parents can not be ascertained or found, may be adopted irrespective of the restrictions that the adopter shall be childless and adopt one child only.

Article 9 Where a male person without spouse adopts a female child, the age difference between the adopter and adoptee shall be no less than 40 years.

Article 10 Where the parents intend to place out their child for adoption, they must act in concert. If one parent cannot be ascertained or found, the other parent may place out the child for adoption alone.

Where a person with spouse adopts a child, the husband and wife must adopt the child in concert.

Article 11 Adoption of a child and the placing out of the child for the adoption shall both take place on a voluntary basis.

Where the adoption involves a minor aged 10 or more, the consent of the adoptee shall be obtained.

Article 12 If the parents of a minor are both persons without full civil capacity, the guardian(s) of the minor may not place out him(her) for adoption, except when the parents may do serious harm to the minor.

Article 13 Where a guardian intends to place out an orphaned minor for adoption, the guardian must obtain the consent of the person who has obligations to support the orphan. Where the person who has obligations to support the orphan disagrees to have the orphan adopted, and the guardian is unwilling to continue the performance of his guardianship, it is necessary to change the guardian in accordance with the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People's Republic of China.

Article 14 A step-father or step-mother may, with the consent of the parents of the step-son or step-daughter, adopt the step-son or step-daughter, and such adoption may be free from the restrictions specified in Item(3), Article 4; Item (3), Article 5 and Article 6 of this law, as well as from the restriction that the adoptee must be under the age of 14 and the adopter may adopt one child only.

Article 15 Adoption shall be registered at the department of civil affairs of the people's government above county level. The adoptive relationship comes into force on the date of its registration.

The department of civil affairs in charge of registration shall, prior to the registration, make an announcement in the adoption of abandoned infants and children whose biological parents can not be ascertained or found.

Should the parties involved in the adoptive relationship wish to conclude an adoption agreement, a written agreement on adoption shall be concluded.

Should the parties or one of the parties involved in the adoptive relationship wish that the adoption be notarized, the adoption shall be notarized.

Article 16 After the establishment of adoptive relationship, the public security organ shall, in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations of the State, carry out registration of residence for the adoptee.

Article 17 Orphans or children whose parents are unable to rear them may be supported by relatives or friends of their parents.

The adoptive relationship shall not apply to the relationship between the supporter and the supported.

Article 18 Where a spouse places out a minor child for adoption after the death of the other spouse, the parents of the deceased shall have the priority in rearing the child.

Article 19 The parents of a child adopted by others may not bear any more child in violation of the regulations on family planning on the ground of having placed out their child for adoption.

Article 20 It is strictly forbidden to buy or sell a child or to do so under the cloak of adoption.

Article 21 A foreigner may, in accordance with this law, adopt a child(male or female) in the People's Republic of China.

When a foreigner adopts a child in the People's Republic of China, his or her adoption shall be examined and approved by the responsible agency of the adopter's resident country in accordance with the country's law. The adopter shall submit papers certifying such particulars of the adopter as age, marital status, profession, property, health, and whether subjected once to criminal punishment, which are provided by the authoritative agency of his or her resident country. Such certifying papers shall be authenticated by the department of foreign affairs of the country of his or her residence, agency authorized by the department of foreign affairs and by the Embassy or Consulate of the People's Republic of China in the country concerned. The adopter shall conclude a written agreement with the person placing out the child for adoption and register in person with the department of civil affairs of the people's government at the provincial level.

Should the parties or one of the parties involved in the adoptive relationship request to carry out notarization, they shall go to a designated notary agency qualified for foreign-related notarization authorized by the judicial administration department of the State Council for adoptive notarization.

Article 22 When the adopter and the person placing out the child for adoption wish to make a secret of the adoption, others shall respect their wish and shall not make a disclosure thereof.

Chapter

Validity of Adoption

Article 23 As of the date of establishment of the adoptive relationship, the legal provisions governing the relationship between parents and children shall apply to the rights and duties in the relationship between adoptive parents and adopted children; the legal provisions governing the relationship between children and close relatives of their parents shall apply to the rights and duties in the relationship between adopted children and close relatives of the adoptive parents.

The rights and duties in the relationship between an adopted child and his or her parents and other close relatives shall terminate with the establishment of the adoptive relationship.

Article 24 An adopted child may adopt his or her adoptive father's or adoptive mother's surname, and may also retain his or her original surname, if so agreed through consultation between the parents concerned.

Article 25 Any act of adoption contravening the provisions of Article 55 of the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People's Republic of China and those of this law shall be of no legal validity.

Any act of adoption ruled to be invalid by a people's court shall be of no legal validity from the very start of the act.

Chapter

Termination of the Adoptive Relationship

Article 26 No adopter may terminate the adoptive relationship before the adoptee comes of age, except when the adopter and the person having placed out the child for the adoption agree to terminate such relationship. If the adopted child involved reaches the age of 10 or more, his or her consent shall be obtained.

Where an adopter fails to perform the duty of rearing the adoptee or commits maltreatment, abandonment, or other acts of encroachment upon the lawful rights of the minor adopted child, the person having placed out the child for adoption has the right to demand the termination of the adoptive relationship. Where the adopter and the person having placed out the child for adoption fail to reach an agreement thereon, a suit may be brought in a people's court.

Article 27 Where the relationship between the adoptive parents and an adult adopted child deteriorates to such a degree that their living together in a same household becomes impossible, they may terminate their adoptive relationship by agreement. In the absence of an agreement, they may bring a suit in a people's court.

Article 28 When reaching an agreement on the termination of the adoptive relationship, the parties involved shall complete the procedure for registering the termination of the adoptive relationship at a department of civil affairs.

Article 29 Upon the termination of an adoptive relationship, the rights and duties in the relationship between an adopted child and his or her adoptive parents and their close relatives shall also terminate, and the rights and duties in the relationship between the child and his or her parents and their close relatives shall be restored automatically. However, with respect to the rights and duties in the relationship between an adult adopted child and his or her parents and their close relatives, it may be decided through consultation as to whether to restore them.

Article 30 Upon termination of an adoptive relationship, an adult adopted child who has been reared by the adoptive parents shall provide an amount of money to support the adoptive parents who have lost ability to work and are short of any source of income. If the adoptive relationship is terminated on account of the maltreatment or desertion of the adoptive parents by the grown-up adopted child, the adoptive parents may demand a compensation from the adopted child for the living and education expenses paid during the period of adoption.

If the parents of an adopted child request the termination of the adoptive relationship, the adoptive parents may demand an appropriate compensation from the parents for the living and education expenses paid during the period of adoption, except if the adoptive relationship is terminated on account of the maltreatment or desertion of the adoption of the adopted child by the adoptive parents.

Chapter

Legal Responsibility

Article 31 Whoever abducts and trafficks in a child under the cloak of adoption shall be investigated for criminal responsibility in accordance with law.

Whoever abandons an infant shall be imposed upon a fine by the public security organ; if the cricumstances constitute a crime, the offender shall be investigated for criminal responsibility in accordance with law.

Whoever sells his or her own child shall be imposed a fine with his or her illegal proceeds confiscated by the public security organ; if the circumstances constitute a crime, the offender shall be investigated for criminal responsibility in accordance with law.

Chapter

Supplementary Provisions

Article 32 The people's congress and its standing committee in a national autonomous area may, on the basis of the principles of this Law and in the light of the local conditions, formulate adaptive or supplementary provisions.

The relevant regulations of a national autonomous region shall be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for the record. The relevant regulations of an autonomous prefecture or autonomous county shall be submitted to the standing committee of the provincial or autonomous region's people's congress for approval before coming into force, and shall also be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for the record.

Article 33 The State Council may, in accordance with this law, formulate measures for its implementation.

Article 34 This Law shall enter into force on April 1, 1992.

Note: The English translation has not been examined and approved by the legislative body and can not be used as basis for law enforcement and public prosecution. Therefore it is for your reference only.