Set up appointments to view your files at the CCCWA office in Beijing (temporarily not possible to visit) or the office in your province, arrange a visit for your orphanage, personalize business cards to take with you for your search
Customized Business Cards
Personalize the ICSA business card with your own information on one side, and take it with you to China to use as a handout during your visit.
One side shows your own information and the other side links to the ICSA Weibo page.
Make a copy of the ICSA business card template (Google Slides). **Notice the helpful notes above and below the first slide.**
Insert your current photo, baby photo, and your WeChat QR code.
Customize the text, all with Chinese characters (found on your adoption documents):
Replace X1 with your name in Chinese characters as given by the orphanage.
Replace YYY1年M1月D1右 with your birthdate, ie. 1996年7月9右.
Replace YYY2年M2月D2右 with the date you were found, ie. 1996年7月11右.
Replace X2 with the nationality of your parents, ie. 美国人 for American, 荷兰人 for Dutch, etc. See notes in template or use Google translate for help.
Replace X3 with the name of your orphanage.
Save the file as a pdf: File>Download.
Upload your pdf to VistaPrint or other printer of your choice to print standard size business cards, 3.5 x 2 inches/88.9 x 50.8 mm.
Viewing Your Records
If you are in China, you can personally see copies of your files, both at the main China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) office in Beijing (temporarily not possible to visit) and in the Civil Affairs office for your province. You can also visit your orphanage and ask to see your file there.
Visiting Civil Affairs Office and Orphanage
You will need the help of a searcher or someone who speaks Chinese to get permission and arrange visits to the provincial civil affairs office and to your orphanage. The Civil Affairs office prefers to work with a Chinese-speaker. See instructions here. The application shows the information you will need to provide.
January 2024 Update from Cherry Yan: As of now CCCWA is not open for visits. Hopefully they will open at some point in the future. The person that formerly worked at the archives is no longer there and the new person seems very reluctant to allow visits. Recent adoptees visiting Beijing were unable to view their files, even when showing up in person.
You still have the option of viewing your files in person at the provincial civil affairs office. See instructions above.
We are leaving the instructions for visiting CCCWA on here for now in hopes it will reopen in the future.
Download a pdf of these instructions here.
If you want to visit the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) in Beijing to look at your adoption file, you can contact Cherry Yan to make an appointment for you. Cherry is a Chinese adoptee who grew up in China, still lives in China, and is willing to help. Contact her at least 10 days in advance of your visit via her WeChat: yanmenghui001. Visiting CCCWA is free.
Adoption files from 1994 and later are at CCCWA, but they do have some earlier files – ask Cherry.
You must go in person; you can’t send someone else in your place. If the adoptee is a minor, parents can go instead, but should bring a copy of the child´s passport just to be safe.
There is someone at the CCCWA office who can speak English, but you will need to have your own translator. You’re not allowed to take photos of your file, but your translator can write down any new info in Chinese characters for later use. Cherry has a friend Angel who can translate at a cost. Angel has an undergraduate degree, and both writes Chinese and speaks English very well.
You need a separate appointment if you also want to visit the matching room.
TO SET UP YOUR APPOINTMENT
Contact Cherry through WeChat at yanmenghui001 and provide her with:
adoptee’s Chinese name
name of orphanage and province
Let Cherry know if you would like to use her friend Angel as a translator.
WHEN AT CCCWA
CCCWA is far out from the inner city; a taxi is best.
You will have one hour per file.
Have your passport with you for ID. Take copies of adoption papers for comparison. Some photos are allowed, like of other photos, outside of the file. Ask before taking any photos.
Have your translator write down new information in Chinese characters for later use, not just a translation to your native language. A good tip is to have your translator write it on their phone, then you will immediately have the Chinese characters digitally as well. If there is a footprint, you can draw the outline of the footprint on a piece of paper as a memory how small the foot was.
Sometimes you find new information, sometimes not! Good luck!