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Considering Adoption in Hong Kong?

The adoption process in Hong Kong is fairly straightforward. All local and inter-country adoptions in Hong Kong are administered by the Government's Social Welfare Department (SWD) and governed by the Adoption Ordinance, Cap 290.

Since Hong Kong is a Special Administration Region of China, and China is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, all adoptions in Hong Kong must meet the requirements of the Convention. The Hague convention seeks to safeguard the interests of adopted children.

Steps to Follow

The first step in pursuing adoption in Hong Kong is to get in contact with the Social Welfare Department and to review their website. During the initial contact with SWD, applicants will likely be asked questions to determine their eligibility to adopt in Hong Kong. They may inquire about marital status, age, occupation and the duration of stay in Hong Kong before providing any further information. After that, an initial questionnaire will be sent to applicants to begin the formal adoption process.

To pursue adoption in Hong Kong, applicants must fulfil certain basic requirements before they can proceed:

1.  Couples should meet the age requirements (one over 25, and the other over 21), and be mature and willing to make a lifelong commitment to adopting and raising a child in a stable environment.

2.  Should be physically and mentally fit to raise a child until independence.

3.  Should be reasonably well educated.

4.  Should have been married for at least 3 years (the period is increased to five years if there have been multiple divorces).

5.  Be gainfully employed and have sufficient financial means to take on the responsibility.

6.  Must have resided in Hong Kong for more than 12 months and must be prepared to be based in Hong Kong for at least 12 more months or until the adoption process is completed. Local adoptions in Hong Kong can typically take between 12-24 months, though some local and inter-country adoptions can take significantly longer.

7.  Should have no previous criminal record.

Once all of the information has been gathered and SWD is satisfied that your application meets the basic requirements, applicants are invited to a compulsory SWD briefing session which is conducted periodically.

At this briefing session, applicants are given further information about the process and are introduced to the three accredited NGOs (adoption agencies operating on a non-profit basis) which handle the adoption process in Hong Kong. Families in Hong Kong have the option of working directly with the Social Welfare Department for the adoption process, or to contract with one of these agencies. SWD’s services are provided free of charge, however a payment to SWD for the Director of Social Welfare Department acting as Guardian ad litem for the child applies at the end of the 6-month placement period. SWD generally does not provide post-adoption support services after the adoption finalisation.


The three NGOs accredited by the Social Welfare department of Hong Kong are listed below. Fees apply for their services; please check their websites for relevant charges.


Mother's Choice 

Unit H, 21st Floor, Legend Tower, 7 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel:2537 2285
Fax:2525 7151
E-mail:adoption@motherschoice.org
Website:www.motherschoice.org

Mother’s Choice handles foster care as well as local and inter-country adoptions, and works with several licensed agencies in the US. They hold free seminars on local adoption in Hong Kong; they also offer family activities and reunions, workshops, newsletters, and will provide post-adoption support.


Po Leung Kuk

1st Floor, Vicwood K.T. Chong Building, Po Leung Kuk, 66 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Tel:2277 8396
Fax:2895 4955
E-mail:las@poleungkuk.org.hk
Website:www.poleungkuk.org.hk

Po Leung Kuk provides local adoption services for families living in Hong Kong, and works with two adoption agencies in the US and the government of Australia to provide adoptive homes for Hong Kong-born children. Po Leung Kuk provides individual consultation and counselling services and workshops for applicants and adoptive families.


International Social Services, Hong Kong

6th Floor, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel:2834 6863
Fax:2834 7627
E-mail:ia@isshk.org
Website:www.isshk.org

Currently ISSHK facilitates inter-country adoptions for those in Hong Kong seeking to adopt, mainly from the following countries: India, the Philippines, Russia, and Thailand. They also assist foreign passport-holders living in Hong Kong to adopt from Mainland China, arrange for children in need to be adopted by relatives overseas, and assist with roots tracing for interested parties.


Application and Home Assessment

Before applicants can proceed with the adoption of a child in Hong Kong, they must undergo an application and home study process which is undertaken to assess suitability to become an adoptive parent. This home study is conducted by a social worker who is appointed by the agency and can take anywhere from four weeks to around six months.

This assessment covers the applicant's desire to adopt, marital stability and the capability to provide a nurturing home environment for a child. Applicants are also required to supply medical, financial records and references. Applicants residing in Hong Kong for less than 5 years will need to provide two overseas referees and one local referee. A background criminal check from the Hong Kong Police is also required for all applicants.

The application and home assessment process permits applicants to inform the agency of their gender preference and willingness or unwillingness to accept a child with special needs, and what types of special needs the applicants are willing to consider.

In Hong Kong, single people as well as married couples meeting all the eligibility criteria can adopt a child. In keeping with the Hague Convention’s guidelines, Hong Kong follows the practice of giving priority to place children with families from their ethnic and cultural background. Therefore generally Chinese children are prioritised to be placed with a Chinese family, a Filipino child will be given priority to be placed with a Filipino family, and so on.


The Matching Process

After the home study is completed and formal approval has been granted by the Social Welfare Department, prospective adoptive parents are then entered into a pool of prospective adoptive parents to be matched with a child. Every three weeks, a matching panel meeting is held at the Social Welfare Department with all the social workers involved in the adoption process, to determine which adoptive parents are the best prospects for a child waiting for a match.

Once applicants have been matched, and agree to the match, they will likely visit the child for around 2 weeks in the facility where the child is currently residing to allow for a gradual transition and to begin a mutual bonding and attachment process. Then the child is placed in-home for six months before the adoption order is granted. Applicants are not allowed to travel out of Hong Kong with the child during this time as the child will not have any legal documents. Parents are highly discouraged from travelling and being away from the child during this initial crucial period of bonding and attachment, with only business or travel for emergency reasons being allowed with prior consent from SWD. During this six month period, the child's progress is monitored through regular interviews and visits, after which the adoption order is granted.


Other Factors to Consider

Adoption by parents who already have children or large families

Although small families are generally preferred, parents who already have large families are also eligible to adopt a child from Hong Kong though they may be subject to increased scrutiny during the home study process. Generally, the youngest child in a large family must be more than a year old, if the parents are considering adoption.


Fees and costs

Aside from fees paid to the agencies, applicants will incur costs for medical, police and financial reports which are required for the home study process.

Concerning inter-country adoptions of Hong Kong children, the estimated cost is approximately $25,000 USD, and children are mostly older children or those with special needs.


Getting pregnant during the process

In cases where the prospective adoptive mother has become pregnant during the adoption process, the social worker assigned should be informed immediately. The adoptive parents are generally encouraged to postpone the adoption, however it should be discussed with the caseworker to ascertain the arrangement which is in the best interests of the child waiting to be adopted.


Additional procedures for expatriates and foreign passport holders

Foreign passport holder or expatriates may have additional processes which need to be completed for citizenship or immigration purposes. Please check with your relevant Consulate before you start the adoption process for accurate information regarding any additional requirements.


International adoption by foreign nationals living in Hong Kong

The information provided here is specifically related to adoption administered by the HK authorities. Foreign nationals may be permitted to pursue international adoption according to their national regulations independent of the Hong Kong SAR Government whilst living in Hong Kong. Please refer to your consulate or National Government for all enquiries.


Support for adoptive families in Hong Kong

Regardless of what type of adoption one pursues, the adoption process can be stressful and complicated for adoptive parents, and adoption is ultimately a lifelong journey. Adoptive Families of Hong Kong provides support and guidance to adoptive families, prospective parents, adult adoptees, and professionals through seminars, talks and events. Please see our calendar of upcoming events and membership page for further information.

Information provided courtesy of Social Welfare Department, Mother’s Choice, Po Leung Kuk, International Social Services, and Geobaby. As procedures are constantly being revised, the accuracy of this information is not guaranteed. Please check with the relevant parties for the most accurate and up to date information.



考慮在香港領養?


在香港領養的所需程序相對簡單。所有本地或跨國領養都經由香港政府的社會福利署按第290章領養條例處理。

因為香港是中國的特別行政區,而中國是海牙公約(Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption)的成員,所以香港的領養個案也要符合海牙公約提出的要求-保障被領養兒童的利益。



領養過程

領養兒童的第一步是聯絡社會福利署的領養服務部門並瀏覽他們的網頁。在社福署為申請者提供更多資訊前,在接觸的初期,申請者通常會被問及一些問題,以評估他們是否符合香港本地領養資格,比如是他們的婚姻狀態、年齡、職業和在港居住時間。申請者出席領養須知講座後,需要填寫一份問卷。


申請者必須符合一些必要條件才能在香港領養兒童:

  • 年滿 25 歲或以上,成熟,並對孩子作出永久的承諾,在穩健的環境下撫養他

  • 有健康的體魄和精神狀態、有能力照顧孩子至長大成人 ( 透過體格檢查確認 )

  • 有基本和充份的教育

  • 有良好的家庭關係 ( 如已結婚,婚姻至少要有三年,如曾有離婚,此段婚姻至少要有五年 )

  • 有固定工作、穩健財政,及固定居所

  • 在香港居住滿一年,並在領養後留居香港至少一年以完成手續

  • 無犯罪紀錄


一旦申請者蒐集了所有所需資訊並通過社福署列出的領養必要條件,申請者會被硬性邀請參加一個社福署講座。


在這個講座上,申請者會知道更多關於領養的資訊,例如待領孩子特色和領養程序。同時,社福署會向申請者介紹三個處理領養程序的政府認可非政府機構(非牟利領養機構)。在香港考慮領養的家庭可以選擇直接與社福署或三間機構中其一合作進行領養程序。社福署提供免費領養服務,但在六個月的放置期結束後,領養家庭需支付一筆給社福署訴訟監護人的費用。至於檢查刑事紀錄的服務費用,則直接落入香港警察部門。


在領養程序完成後,社福署通常不會提供領養後續服務。選擇與社福署合作不會減少等待領養的時間,亦不會增加成功配對的機率。無論選擇哪一個領養機構所需時間相約。所以,考慮領養家庭應考慮不同機構提供的準備、領養前及領養後的服務及與該機構聯絡時的感覺。


三個處理領養程序的政府認可非政府機構如下, 至於相關費用,請查閱他們的網站:


母親的抉擇

九龍觀塘成業街7號寧晉中心21樓H單位

電話2537 2285
傳真2537 7151
電郵adoption@motherschoice.org
網頁www.motherschoice.org

母親的抉擇提供兒童寄養及本地兒童領養服務。他們同時和多個美國持牌領養中介合作,為在本地較難配對家庭的待領香港兒童尋找海外領養家庭。他們舉辦免費領養講座、工作坊並提供領養後支援服務,向領養家庭提供活動及為領養者安排重返幼兒之家重聚日。他們同時亦協助家庭或被領養者尋根。

保良局

香港島銅鑼灣禮頓道66號保良局莊啓程大廈1樓

電話2277 8396
傳真2895 4955
電郵las@poleungkuk.org.hk
網頁www.poleungkuk.org.hk

保良局為在港家庭提供本地領養服務,同時和兩個美國持牌領養中介和澳洲政府合作為待領香港兒童尋找海外家庭。保良局為申請者和領養家庭提供諮詢及輔導服務、工作坊和支援服務。他們同時亦協助家庭或被領養者尋根。

香港國際社會服務社

香港島灣仔軒尼斯道130號修頓中心6樓
電話2834 6863
傳真2834 7627
電郵ia@isshk.org
網頁www.isshk.org

香港國際社會服務社向香港家庭提供領養外國兒童服務,主要在印度、菲律賓、泰國以及俄羅斯。他們亦幫助持外國護照的香港居留者領養中國內地兒童,同時幫助在外國的人士領養他們在港有親戚關係的待領兒童。他們同時亦協助家庭或被領養者尋根。


領養過程和家庭評估

在申請者可以領養香港兒童之前,他們必須申請並進行家庭評估過程以確保他們合適成為領養父母。家庭評估過程由一名由機構指定的社工監督進行,為時四週至六個月。

家庭評估過程包括申請者領養意願、婚姻穩定性、為兒童提供一個溫馨的家庭環境的能力。申請者同時需要提供身體檢查、財政紀錄及相關證明文件。在港居住少於五年的的申請者需要提供一名本地推薦者和兩名外國推薦者。所有申請者亦需提交一份由香港警察發出的刑事紀錄。

申請及家庭評估過程允許申請者向機構透露他們希望領養兒童是什麼性別、年齡,及與否他們會考慮領養有特殊需要的兒童及他們考慮領養有什麼方面的特殊需要的兒童。

在香港,符合所有領養條件的單身人士以及已婚人士均可領養兒童。為了跟隨海牙以約的指引,香港跟隨一個配對待領兒童予相同或相似民族文化背景的家庭的原則。所以,例如通常中國兒童會被配給中國家庭,菲律賓兒童會被預先考慮配對給菲律賓家庭。


配對過程

家庭評估過程完成、社會福利署批出正式領養允許通知後,待領家長正式開始等待配對。每三個星期,社會福利署和所有機構的社工會舉辦一個配對會議討論哪一些待領家庭是哪些待領兒童最適合的家。香港國際社會服務社、保良局和母親的抉擇都會參與這個會議。待領家庭等待的時間長短與他們所在機構皆不會影響到領養的先後。

一旦配對成功,同時待領家庭接受配對結果,待領家庭可以到待領兒童所在的機構探望他們大概兩星期,讓帶領兒童逐漸適應待領家庭及讓雙方發展親密感。在一些情況下,如果待領兒童年紀較大或有特殊情況,探望的時期可以延長讓他們有更好的過度階段。兒童住進家裏後會有六個月的適應期,之後確認領養的文件會陸續批出,領養程序正式完成。

在這六個月的時間內,因為領養兒童尚未有法律文件,領養申請者不可帶領養兒童離港。除非因為公事或緊急情況並經社會福利署批准,否則我們也不建議領養父母在這段時間離開領養兒童,因為這是培養感情和感情寄託的最好時機。在這六個月內,領養服務部門會派出社工定期探望領養兒童以觀察他們的適應程度。值得注意的是不同機構派出的社工會在這段時間有不同程度的參與。


費用

除了支付給機構的費用外,申請者同時在家庭評估程序中需要負擔獲得醫療、刑事、財政報告的費用。

跨國領養香港兒童服務的大約花費是美元$25,000 ,費用因機構而異,而被領養的兒童多是年齡較大或有特殊需要的


其他考慮因

已有子女或有大家庭的申請者

雖然小型家庭普遍是首選,大家庭的父母也符合資格領養兒童,但他們可能在家庭評估的過程中經過更嚴謹的審查。通常,如果大家庭的父母考慮領養的話,他們最年幼的小孩一定要一歲以上。


在領養過程中懷孕

如果待領母親在領養過程中發現懷孕,他們應立刻通知他們的社工。在這程況下領養父母會被建議延遲領養,但他們應該與社工商量,以待領兒童的利益為先做出相應安排。


外籍人士和持外國護照人士需經的額外程序

外籍人士和持外國護照人士或需在他們持護照的國家完成有關國籍、移民或領養程序。在開始申請領養前,請與你的領事館聯絡得知所需額外手續。在領養程序其間及完成之後,請定期持續檢查你的國家的法規是否需要進行額外手續。因為以往曾出現因為領養父母部分或沒有完成移民或國籍申請程序,被領養人士處於劣勢,甚至被驅逐出境,所以這部分是非常關鍵的。


在港居住的外籍人士進行跨國領養

以上提供的資料是有關在香港特別行政區內的領養的。想跨國領養的在港外籍人士可能單受個別國家條例而非香港政府的條例影響。詳情請查詢你的領事館或政府部門。


支持在港領養家庭

不管你選擇哪一種領養,申請過程都可能是漫長、複雜而充滿壓力的。所以Adoptive Families of Hong Kong通過研討會、講座和活動為領養家庭、待領父母和成年被領養人士提供支持和指導。活動詳情請看我們的日曆和會員專頁。

以上資料提供自社會福利署、母親的抉擇、保良局、香港國際社會服務社和Geobaby。因為領養程序持續更新,我們不可保證以上資料的準確程度。請和相關機構聯絡得知最新最準確的資訊。



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