A. Christian Commitment
As a ministry, Lifeline works with Christian families desiring to adopt as part of a calling and commitment we have been led to. As a part of this, we also ask that you complete the Doctrinal Statement/Christian Questionnaire that you can access online. We ask that parents have a firm commitment to live according to God’s Word and teach their child the truth about who Jesus Christ is as their Lord and Savior. We would love to talk to you more about this if you would like to know more about what it means to be a Christian. Check out more information about it here.
B. Parenting Ability
The adoptive applicants must give evidence of a mutual desire and love for children. The applicants must be able to provide the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of the child being adopted. Adoptive applicants should meet the requirements for adoption in their home state.
Adoptive parents must be at least 30 years of age. Taiwan requests that the upper age be 50, but adoptive parents that may be older than 50 can be accepted for a waiting child adoption. In this way, the upper age is 50+. There must be at least 20 years difference between the age of the parents and the child adopted, but no more than 45 years age difference between the parents and the child.
The applicants must be in good physical and mental health as determined by a medical examination and evaluation to enable them to undertake the responsibility of parenthood. If any current or past medications, please contact Lifeline to determine meeting this requirement. Family Health insurance and life insurance coverage is required.
As long as the applicants meet U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) poverty guidelines, Taiwan does not require a minimum household income. However, Lifeline requires showing financial stability and indebtedness should be reasonable.
The applicants’ home must provide adequate space and living conditions necessary to promote health and well being. The home should have at least two bedrooms. Ownership is not required. Please check with your state social worker about specific spacing requirements for your state.
If both parents work outside the home, one of the parents should be able to remain at home with the child for at least 4-6 weeks following the return home. This assists with bonding and fosters emotional security in the child. The exact length of time can be discussed in more detail with our staff. If the parent returns to work, there must be a plan for reasonable child care which will provide security for the child.
Only married couples may adopt from Cathwel Services in Taiwan. The minimum marriage requirement is 5 years. There are no specific divorce(s) restriction(s) for either of the applicants. If there has been more than 1 divorce per parent it would be required that the parents demonstrate stability in their current marriage.
Families with children already in the home (biological or adopted) may adopt. There may be no more than 4 children in the home. Birth order is a requirement for children 6 years and under. Please talk with your Taiwan adoption specialist regarding birth order. Each family will have to prove in their home study they have sufficient resources to care for an additional child.
2 trips are required for the Taiwan program. Trip one is required during the court process where both parents will need to be present, unless specified otherwise. This trip is typically 2-3 days, depending on court requirements and Cathwel preferences. For trip two, at least one parent will need to travel to complete the adoption but preference is for both to travel – trip two is typically 4-7 days. After the final ruling, Cathwel will send notice of the dates upon which you may travel to pick up your child- this will be the second trip. Lifeline through Cathwel will proceed with obtaining a medical clearance for your child and also with obtaining a new passport for your child. The adoption process from Taiwan is estimated to take 12-18 months from formal application received at Lifeline until your child is home. The entire adoption is nearly complete before you travel. The final court decree is not issued until you come to pick up your child and therefore your child may return home on the IR3 Visa (as long as both parents travel to pick up the child). When you travel to Taiwan you will pick your child up at the orphanage. You may have the opportunity to meet with the birthmother. You will have a scheduled appointment at the AIT (American Institute in Taiwan – U.S. Embassy in Taiwan) Office. We will work with Cathwel to secure the time and date of your appointment at the AIT office. You will need to be in Taiwan approximately 4 –7 days to complete the adoption process and receive your VISA for your child. The orphanage is directly in Taipei and the AIT Office is also in Taipei so this makes for an easier travel schedule for the parents and child. For Taiwan, the adoptions are finalized in Taiwan. If both adoptive parents traveled to spend time with the child prior to the adoption, the child automatically becomes a US citizen upon arrival on US soil. In this case, the IR-3 immigrant visa is issued to your child. (In this case you will receive the COC or certificate of Citizenship within a few weeks of arriving in the U.S.) If both of you did not travel to pick up your child an IR-4 visa is issued to your child. You will need to finalize/readopt the child here in the U.S. and at that point your child will be an automatic citizen. At that time it is highly encouraged, although not mandatory, that you apply for proof of your child’s citizenship by using the N600 form available from USCIS.
If you feel that you meet these qualifications please complete and send us the Doctrinal Statement/Christian Questionnaire, Adoption Application, and application fee of $250. We will contact you within 5 business days of receiving your completed initial paperwork. Please contact us at 205.967.0811 or email Emily Fulkerson HERE for further information.
Please see the Fee Schedule here for a breakdown of estimated expenses. Additional fees and their due date are outlined in the fee schedule. Please note: The application fee is not refundable once the home study portion of the adoption process has begun.
Following the receipt of your completed application by our office, you will be contacted by us. We will direct you to the next steps. It is at this time that you will be given our Taiwan Waiting Child Adoption Manual, along with other miscellaneous adoption paperwork.