On March 3rd, the CCCWA announced a new second phase of post placement reports to be required of parents beginning April 1st, 2021. Parents will now be required to update the CCCWA annually until their child turns 18. This is required of those who have already adopted within the past five years, unless the adoption was prior to early 2016. Those who have already submitted the six required post placement reports by April 1st are exempt from the new requirement but may voluntarily submit reports
Why has China changed the post placement requirements? The stated reason is to “to follow up the living and growing situation of our children who have been adopted by foreign families, and to timely guarantee the adopted children’s legal rights and interests.” While prior to 2011 post placement reports were required only the first year after adoption, in recent times five years of reports have been required. A change to the post placement requirements was last made in 2015 after Reuters released an investigative report on internationally adopted children being unofficially “re-homed” through online contacts. This change comes less than a year after a high profile adoption dissolution received significant coverage in China. The authorities in China have long demonstrated that the long term well being of the children they place is important to them.
While the jump from five years all the way to age eighteen seems big, a number of other countries require post placement reports to age 18 including Ethiopia and Ukraine. Also, China is not requiring the full amount of information as the first five years of reports. Parents are required to send five pictures or video of up to 1 minute in length. A letter giving a written update on the child’s health and development may be included but does not seem to be required. In addition, parents will upload this directly to the CCCWA, so you do not need to be tied to your agency to submit the information.
As with any significant change in the China program, many families are reacting negatively. Some see it as spelling the imminent doom of the program while others feel it’s a violation of the agreement at the time of adoption to only have to submit post placement reports for five years. Many are declaring that they will not comply. I would like to again urge everyone to comply with the post placement requirements as much as they are able to do so. Failure to return post placement reports was a factor in the closure of both the Kazakhstan and Guatemala programs.