A5- Article 5, a document issued by the US Consulate in Guangzhou which verifies to China that your paperwork is in order. It takes 10 business days for the document to be prepared by the US consulate. Once this document has been sent to the CCCWA your travel approval will be issued.
CA- Consulate Appointment, your appointment at the US Consulate in Guangzhou where your child’s visa will be processed.
CCCWA- Chinese Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption, the agency which oversees China’s adoption program.
CWI- Children’s Welfare Institute, the name China gives an orphanage which houses only children.
DS260- This is the online application for your child’s immigrant visa.
DTC- Dossier to China, when your dossier is mailed to China.
GUZ number- Applications for immigration visas are assigned a number which replaces the SIM number you had with USCIS. Those visas, which will be issued from the US Consulate in Guangzhou, are issued a number which begin GUZ. This is a small step in the immigration process which requires no action on your part.
Hague- An international treaty governing international adoption which was signed on April 1, 2008. Because adoptions from China operate in accordance with this treaty, your home study agency must be Hague accredited.
HS- Home study, the first step in any adoption.
I800A- The first immigration document you must file asking permission to adopt from China. Your I800A approval grants you general permission to adopt a child or children from China.
I800- The second immigration document you must file. Your I800 approval grants you permission to adopt a specific child or children.
LID- Log in Date, the date when your dossier is logged into China’s system.
LID only file- A file which is reserved for families who have a dossier already in China’s system.
Lockbox- Both I800 forms are sent to a USCIS lockbox facility in Texas. The lockbox facility will open the forms, make sure your payment is included, and mail the forms to the USCIS branch in Missouri which handles adoption.
LOI- Letter of Intent, a letter you send to China petitioning to adopt a particular child.
LOA- Commonly referred to as the Letter of Approval, this is a Letter of Action sent by China to confirm that you are approved to adopt the child you are matched with and seeking confirmation that you wish to proceed with the adoption.
LSC- Letter Seeking Confirmation, alternate acronym for the LOA. See above definition.
MCC- Medical Conditions Checklist. A form which tells your agency which special needs you are open to adopting.
NBC- National Benefits Center, the branch office of USCIS in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, which deals with adoption immigration benefits.
NVC- National Visa Center, processes the visa your child will be issued to enter the US after the adoption is completed in China. Your child will fly home on a Chinese passport; the visa will verify that they will become a US citizen once their paperwork is processed by immigration at your port of entry.
PA- Provisional Approval or pre-approval, an initial approval granted by China after you have sent a Letter of Intent to adopt a particular child.
Partnership- When a specific agency is paired with a specific orphanage. The agency will provide material aid and training to the orphanage in exchange for being the first agency to receive all the files prepared by the orphanage. They will advocate for the children at the institution and sometimes bear the cost of preparing the files.
Partnership files- The files an agency receives from a partner orphanage. The agency agrees to place at least 80% of the files or they might not be able to keep the partnership. LID files will be designated to the agency for only three weeks, but special focus files are designated for three months to give the agency a longer amount of time to advocate and find a family.
Referral- Your agency will refer a child’s file for you to review. When someone says “We have a referral!” it means that they have been matched with a child.
RTF- This is an acronym for rich text format. You will request an e-mail version of your NVC approval letter and they will send it to you in RTF.
SIM number- The number assigned to your immigration application by USCIS.
SF file- Special Focus file, a file which does not require a dossier to be in China for a match. Special focus files are those which China considers to be more difficult to place or they were LID files who remained unmatched after a certain number of weeks. You do not need to have started the adoption process in order to send a Letter of Intent.
SWI- Social Welfare Institute, the name China gives an orphanage which might also be home to elderly or adults who are unable to live independently.
TA- Travel Approval, a letter issued by China inviting you to enter the country to finalize the adoption. You have 90 days after the TA is issued to complete the adoption.
USCIS- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the American government agency which approves the Chinese adoption and grants citizenship status to your child.
CCCWA – Chinese Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption:  Chinese branch of government that oversees adoptions.
LID File or NSF File – Logged In Dossier File or Non-Special Focus files.  Children whose files require that a family have their dossier completed and Logged In with CCCWA before they can be matched.  Usually the very young children with more minor or correctable medical needs and girls up to age 9 with minor to moderate medical needs.  More girls are designated as “LID Files” than boys because of the strong preference for girls.
SF File – Special Focus Files are children that can be matched with families at any time during the adoption process, even before starting paperwork if their agency has determined they are eligible.  All children who are not designated as LID Files are labeled as Special Focus.  Most boys are designated as “SF” because they tend to wait longer and be harder to place just because of gender.
Agency Designated/Specific File – CCCWA allows agencies to hold Special Focus files for 90 days to advocate for those children.  In exchange for their efforts they are the only agency that can match those children during that time period.  LID Files can only be held for 3 weeks and only when an agency has a partnership with the child’s orphanage.
Shared List Child – The Shared List is the big master list of all Chinese children who are paper-ready for adoption and waiting to be chosen.  Agencies all over the world pull files from this list and it is constantly changing as files are locked and released.  Only agency representatives can see this list.  Children who are agency specific cannot be seen by other agencies on the shared list, however, if the agency doesn’t place a designated child with a family within 90 days (or 3 weeks for LID children) the file will be moved to the shared list so all agencies can see the file.
SWI or CWI – Social Welfare Institute or Children’s Welfare Institute = Orphanage.  Social Welfare Institutes may house both children and adults under government care.
USCIS – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:  Homeland Security – US branch of government that approves China adoption and child immigration status.  You will send two applications to them.  One to be approved to adopt and another to seek approval to adopt your specific child.
HAGUE As of April 1, 2008, all adoptions of children from China are governed by the Hague Adoption Convention.  This is an international agreement designed to ensure that inter-country adoptions are in the best interest of the child involved.  All families who want to adopt from China must follow the Hague guidelines and must use a Hague accredited home study case worker and a Hague Accredited placing agency.
LOI – Letter Of Intent:  Letter to China asking to adopt a specific child.  This is loaded electronically by the agency.  
PA – Pre-Approval:  The child has been put on hold for your family pending review of dossier.  No one else can see the child’s file at this time.  PA is granted instantly to Logged In families and usually comes within 2-21 days for families who are not Logged In yet.
HS – Home Study:  Adoption education, and necessary invasion of the most intimate details of our lives.  
i800-A to USCIS:  Application sent to Homeland Security along with your completed home study asking to be approved to adopt one or two non-specific children from a convention country.  This approval is required before you can be DTC and a copy of the approval must be state sealed and authenticated by a Chinese consulate or embassy for your dossier.  
DTC – Dossier To China:  Your dossier has been loaded electronically in the system and mailed to CCCWA to await translation and review. 
LID – Logged In Dossier:  CCCWA acknowledges receipt of your hard copy dossier and issues a “Log In Date.”  After this your dossier will be shuffled from desk to desk as it gets translated, reviewed and approved by different people. From DTC to LID can be a few days to several weeks.
LOA – Letter Of Action (LSC – Letter Seeking Confirmation):  Dossier has been translated, reviewed and approved and you are now officially matched with your child/ren.  You need to sign, date and return the LOA confirming that you still plan to proceed.  Your LOA wait starts the day you are Logged In if you received PA prior to being DTC.  If you were LID before matching then your LOA wait beings when your LOI was loaded into the system (PA is automatic in this case).  
i800 to USCIS:  Application to Homeland Security asking to adopt a specific child/ren.  You do nothing but bite your nails after sending this in.  At this point your paperwork is shuffled around and you trust it’s getting taken care of…
NVC – National Visa Center:  Where your i800 approval is sent.  From here your info will be loaded into the “system” and a cable will be sent to the US Embassy in Guangzhou.  The NVC will assign you a GUZ number which goes on immigration paperwork for your child and then you’ll be emailed a copy of a pdf file that gets forwarded to your agency.  This all happens automatically and within a week.  Now your agency can submit the Article 5 paperwork.
Article 5:  A courier will pick up the Article 5 from the US Embassy and deliver it to CCCWA.  The Article 5 lets CCCWA know that you are approved by the US government to adopt that specific child/ren and have appropriately jumped through every hoop and paid every fee our two governments could think of.  After this step CCCWA issues TA.
TA – Travel Approval:  You are welcome to enter the country to complete your adoption sometime over the next 90 days, but first you need to request your CA.  If you received PA prior to being LID your TA should arrive 4-6 months after you are LID.  If you were LID your TA should arrive 4-6 months after PA.
CA – Consulate Appointment:  You will request 2-3 dates for your Consulate Appointment at the US Embassy where you’ll ask for your child’s US Visa and swear an oath.  
CNY – Chinese New Year

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