The Referral Process

The referral process was initiated almost immediately after our approval for adoption. Initially the plan was to adopt from Haiti - however circumstance, or more precisely changed adoption rules, meant that this was no longer possible.

2nd March 1999

We receive a letter from our organisation, that Haiti has introduced new rules and do not allow adoption to families with biological children. They propose China or India as alternatives.

5th March 1999

We call our organisation, Terre des Hommes (TdH) and inform them of our decision to select adoption from China. China had just changed the rules to allow families to adopt even though the family already has children! What we didn't know, was that is one year, to the day, before Yanmei comes home to Denmark.

18th March 1999

We receive a letter from Terre Des Hommes (TdH) outlining what information they need to be able to send an adoption request to the Chinese authorities.

23rd March 1999

Steven visits the doctor for a health check-up and HIV test.

26th March 1999

Lene visits the doctor for a health check-up and HIV test.

11th April 1999

We sent the requested information to Terre Des Hommes (TdH) including a financial statement and a document outlining our motivation for adopting a child from China,  photo copies of our passports and 8-10 pictures of our home, family and friends. Click here to read the motivation letter

May 1999

The necessary papers are sent by TdH to CCAA (the China Centre for Adoption Affairs). We have been informed that the wait can either be 2-3 months if we get a child 3 years or older; and 6-7 months for children under 3. Anne at Terre des Hommes expects our referral to be for a 3 year old child or older.

8th June 1999

Our adoption request is registered with CCAA. The lapse time between us sending in the papers and them being sent to China is due to the papers having to be first sent to the Chinese Embassy in Denmark.

Again we wait and wait and wait ..........

7th December 1999

CCAA sends information about a referral for us and two other families to Terre Des Hommes. We are not aware that the information is sent.

13th December 1999

The Danish Authorities receive information via Terre des Hommes. One of the other families adopting at the same time, calls to tell us that he has heard from TdH that 3 referrals have been received for our group. The referrals come form Jinchang, Gansu province. We spend the evening looking for Jinchang on the Internet. Not a lot of information is to be found.

14th December 1999

Lene contacts TdH and the above is confirmed.

prior to Christmas

The Danish doctors request further medical information about Yanmei; concerned about her HGB blood level being too low. The two other girls are approved.

27th December 1999

Yanmei is taken for an additional medical check-up at Jinchang Peoples hospital.

6th January 2000

TdH and CCAA communicate regarding a further test of Yanmei:

”I just called CCAA. Ms Wang told me the Jinchang Welfare Institute took Jin Yanmei to hospital for examining again and faxed the result to CCAA, but the fax was not clear and CCAA couldn’t read it. So CCAA asked the Institute to mail it to CCAA and the CCAA send it to you. So I am afraid that the family has to wait for some time. According to Ms Wang, Jin Yanmei is no problem. Because she nitpicks at food, she suffered a little from iron deficiency, but it was not serious. And the new physical report proves she is no problem.”

20th January 2000

The Danish authorities receive the following information from TdH, who in turn received it from CCAA.

”Jin Yanmei female 2 years old the result of her chemical examination as of
September 17 1999 is HGB 77g/l which is below the normal figure. It is because the child was in a one-sided diet, and she has slight symptoms of under nourishment. Now, the child gets rid of the habit of criticizing of food under the doctor’s careful guide and nurse’s patient help.
The chemical examination result of December 27 shows Jin Yanmei has reached the normal level (HGB is 111g/l) at present.

Jin Chang Social Welfare Institute
Lu Zhihua 2000/1/11

1st February 2000

The Doctors meet to re-examine the results of the new blood test, and give the go-ahead for us to adopt Yanmei. Our Social Worker contacts us in the late afternoon to tell us that they have now approved our referral. We agree to meet the following day at 9:30 am.

2nd February 2000

We meet the Social Worker who gives some limited written and medical information about  Yanmei. The medical information is fine, now that the additional tests have been completed.

The Social Worker informs us that Yanmei can be carrier of Hepatitis B; but it isn’t clear from the information received. We also discuss the sentence “Now she has no ability of contacting others”; which the Social Worker interprets to either be a translation error or possibly that Yanmei doesn’t yet talk.

We agree to adopt Jin Yanmei and are handed photographs of Yanmei that were sent with the referral. The photos were taken in September.


3rd February 2000

We sign the official document "Letter Seeking Confirmation From Adopter" and return it to Terre des Hommes.

4th February 2000

The confirmation letter is faxed and couriered to CCAA in China by TdH.

14th February 2000

We receive a letter from TdH, that the CCAA have informed them that we can expect to receive the “Notice of Coming to China for Adoption”  at the end of February or the beginning of March, and travel at the end of March.

21st February 2000

The “Notice of Coming to China for Adoption” has been received and ready to be collected. The next part of our long journey is set to begin!