Guide for foreigners in Guangzhou: Marriage, adoption

GZFAO| Updated: Mar 24, 2022
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Marriage registration

For couples interested in getting married, they must register in person with the marriage registration authority. The marriage relationship will be established as soon as they acquire the marriage certificates.

List of application materials:

1. Three couple photos were taken within six months (bare-headed, full face, red background), 2 inches;

2. Valid identity documents and relevant proof documents.

Chinese mainland residents: Valid permanent residence registration booklet and ID card.

Foreigners: Valid passport or other valid international travel documents; single status certificate.

Divorce registration

If a married couple desires a divorce, they must sign a divorce agreement in writing and apply to the marriage registration authority in person for divorce registration. Here are the procedures:

(1) Application: If the couple desires a divorce, they must provide a divorce agreement and apply for divorce registration with their identity documents and relevant proof documents to the marriage registration authority in whose jurisdiction either party has been residing.

(2) Acceptance: The marriage registration authority will conduct a preliminary review of the identity documents and other proof documents submitted by the concerned parties and the Acceptance Receipt of Application for Divorce Registration shall be issued if the preliminary review finds all documents appropriate.

(3) Cooling-off period: Within 30 days after receiving the Acceptance Receipt of Application for Divorce Registration, either party who does not desire a divorce may withdraw the application from the registration office by presenting their own valid identity documents and submitting the Application Form for Withdrawing Divorce Registration.

(4) Review: Within 30 days after the cooling-off period, the concerned parties must apply to the marriage registration authority for divorce certificates in person by presenting their valid identity documents and other proof documents. 

(5) Registration (issuing divorce certificates): The marriage registration authority will go through the registration procedures and issue divorce certificates pursuant to the relevant laws and regulations.

List of application materials:

1. Marriage certificates;

2. Valid identity documents and relevant proof documents;

3. Three copies of a divorce agreement signed by the concerned parties in the presence of a marriage registration officer;

4. Two single photos of the concerned parties taken within six months (bare-headed, full face, red background), 2 inches;

5. Acceptance Receipt of Application for Divorce Registration.

Replacement of Marriage Registration Certificate

When either concerned party has their marriage registration certificate lost or destroyed, or when the personal information on the marriage registration certificate is inconsistent with that on their valid identity documents now held, they may apply for a replacement of the marriage registration certificate. 

List of application materials for replacement of marriage registration certificate:

1. Valid identity documents

Chinese mainland residents: Valid permanent residence registration booklet and ID card.

Foreigners: Valid passport or other valid international travel documents.

2. Proof documents: A photocopy of the marriage registration record stamped with the official seal of the original handling marriage registration office or the marriage registration archiving authority, or a proof document on the lost record.

3. Photos: When applying for replacement of marriage registration certificates, three couple photos  of the concerned parties taken within the past six months (bare-headed, full face, red background) that are 2 inches in size shall be provided;

When applying for replacement of divorce registration certificates, two single photos of the concerned parties taken within 6 months (bareheaded, full face, red background) that are 2 inches in size shall be provided.

Adoption registration

Here are the procedures for applying for adoption registration in Guangdong by foreign adopters:

Upon receipt of the Notice of Travelling to China for Adoption issued by the China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption, the foreign adoptive parent must make an appointment with the Guangdong Adoption Registration Center 10 days before they come to Guangdong to register the adoption;

Tel:+86-20-83318577、+86-20-83368441

Email:gd_adoption@163.com

The adopter meets the adoptee, and a handover ceremony is held at the Guangdong Adoption Registration Center.

Address: 8F, Fuhua Trade Building, 233 Dade Lu, Yuexiu district, Guangzhou

The foreign adopter and the person placing the child for adoption must sign an Agreement of Entrusted Custody during the Integration Period. The period of integration shall be within 48 hours, and any abnormalities occurring during this period must be reported to the Guangdong Adoption Registration Center in a timely manner.

Upon expiration of the integration period, if neither the adopter nor the adoptee has any objection, the adopter, the person placing the child for adoption, and the adoptee must go to the Guangdong Adoption Registration Center in person for adoption registration. The adoption relationship is established as of the date of registration.

Materials for adoption registration

1. One original copy of the Notice of Travelling to China for Adoption;

2. Passport of the adopter and one photocopy of the passport;

3. The Application Form for Adoption Registration filled in by the adopter (attached with one-inch photo, i.e. 33mm×48mm, of each of the husband and the wife of the adopting couple);

4. One original copy of each of the Adoption Agreement and the Agreement of Entrusted Custody during the Integration Period between the adopter and the person placing the child for adoption;

5. When a married couple adopts a child together, if one party is not present, one original copy of the authorization letter on adoption, which is notarized by the notary office of the adopter's resident country and certified by the Chinese embassy (consulate) in that country, must be provided.

The registrar will go through registration formalities for eligible adopters and, upon approval by the Guangdong Provincial Department of Civil Affairs, issue the Adoption Registration Certificate within seven days. The adoption relationship is established as of the date of registration.

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