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Conditions and procedures for adoption by foreigners in Vietnam

Apart from domestic adoption, in some specific cases, foreigners can still adopt a Vietnamese child. This Article provides  guidance on procedures for foreigners to adopt a Vietnamese child.

When can foreigners adopt a Vietnamese child?

Inter-country adoption means the adoption between a Vietnamese citizen and a foreigner, between foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam, and between Vietnamese citizens either of whom settles abroad (Clause 5, Article 3 of the 2010 Law on Adoption).

The adoption must comply with principles specified in Article 5 of Law on Adoption in order of priority as follows:

- Step father, step mother, natural aunt or uncle of the adopted child

- Vietnamese citizens permanently residing in the country

- Foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam Vietnamese citizens settling abroad

- Foreigners permanently residing abroad 

Adoption by a person living abroad is allowed only when no domestic substitute family can be found..

Conditions and procedures for adoption by foreigners in Vietnam


Condition for foreigners to adopt a Vietnamese child

In order to adopt a Vietnamese child, both foreigners permanently residing abroad and foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam must meet the conditions specified in Article 14 of the Law on Adoption, including:

- Having full civil at capacity.

- Being 20 years or more older than the adopted child.

- Having health, financial, accommodation conditions for assuring the care, nurturing and education for the adopted child.

- Having good ethical qualities.

- Not falling into one of the following cases: currently serving an administrative handling decision at an education or medical treatment establishment, currently serving a prison sentence, having a criminal record relating to child trafficking, swapping and appropriation, etc.

In addition, the foreigners permanently residing abroad must satisfy conditions prescribed by the law of the country where they are residing.


Where do foreigners register for adopting a Vietnamese child?

Competent to register adoptions is regulated in Article 9 of the Law on Adoption and guided by Article 2 of the Government’s Decree No. 19/2011/ND-CP (amended by the Decree No. 24/2019/ND-CP):

- The People’s Committee of  province where the child being adopted is permanently residing;

- The People’s Committee of the province where the nurturing center is located, if the child is living in a nurturing center.

After receiving a decision from a provincial-level People’s Committee, the provincial-level Department of Justice shall register inter-country adoptions.


Fee for adoption by foreigners

The specific fee for foreigners registering for adoption is regulated by the Government in the Decree No. 114/2016/ND-CP as follows:

No

Cases

Fee

2

Overseas Vietnamese, foreigners permanently residing overseas adopting a Vietnamese child 

VND 9 million

3

Foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam adopt a Vietnamese child

VND 4.5 million

4

Foreigners residing at the border areas of neighboring countries adopt a Vietnamese child permanently residing at the Vietnam’s border areas

 

VND 4.5 million

5

Registration for adoptation at overseas Vietnamese representative mission

USD 150

In addition to the above fees, a foreigner not permanently residing in Vietnam and seek to adopt a child in Vietnam shall pay a sum of money to partly offset expenses for settling inter-country adoptions:

- Expenses for nurturing, caring for and educating the child from the time of introduction for adoption to the time of completion of procedures for the child’s delivery and receipt;

- Expenses for verifying the origin of the introduced child;

- Expenses for delivering and receiving the adopted child;

- Reasonable remuneration for the nurturing center’s employees.


Procedures for adoption by foreigners

Step 1: Dossier preparation

The dossier of the child adopting person includes: 02 dossiers.

  • A written request for adoption;
  • A copy of the passport or identity card or a valid substitute paper;
  • The written permission for child adoption in Vietnam;
  • A completed questionnaire on psychology and family;
  • A health certificate;
  • An income and property certificate;;
  • The judicial record sheet;
  • Written certification of the marital status;
  • A document evidencing the case of adoption of a specific child. (if any)

The above dossiers must be made, issued or certified by the competent authority of the country where the child adopting person permanently resides.

The dossier of the child to be adopted includes: 03 dossiers.

  • Birth certificate;
  • A health certificate issued by the district-level or higher-level health agency;
  • Two photos of the whole body looking straight, taken within the past 6 months;
  • Document on the remarkable characteristics, hobbies and habits of the child;
  • A document evidencing the failure of finding a domestic substitute family; etc.


Note: The papers and documents that are compiled, granted or certified by a competent foreign agency must be consularly legalized for use in Vietnam, unless they are exempt from consular legalization under a treaty.

Step 2: Examining and verifying dossiers and certifying children’s eligibility for being adopted.

Within 20 days of receiving the completed dossiers, the provincial-level Department of Justice shall examine the dossiers and carry out consultation (in documents bearing the signatures or fingerprints of the consulted persons)

After completing the examination and verification, if seeing that the child is eligible for inter-country adoption, the provincial-level Justice Department shall issue a certificate to this effect and send it to the Ministry of Justice.

Step 3: The Ministry of Justice shall examine and transfer the dossier of an adopting person.

Within 15 days after receiving a complete and valid dossier, the Ministry of Justice shall examine and process the dossier of an adopting person to ensure:

  • After the time limit to find a substitute family for a child, if nobody in the country can be found, the Ministry of Justice shall send the dossier to the provincial-level Justice Department of the place in which the child permanently resides for consideration and introduction for adoption
  • In case the adopting person seeks to adopt a specific child:  transfer the dossier to the provincial-level Justice Department of the place in which the person introduced for adoption permanently resides for submission to the provincial-level People’s Committee for consideration and decision.

Step 4: Decision to allow children to be adopted by foreigners

Within 15 days after receiving the dossiers from the provincial-level Justice Department, the provincial-level People’s Committee shall decide to allow the child’s inter-country adoption.

After receiving the decision, the provincial-level Justice Department shall notify the adopting person to come to Vietnam for receiving the child. Within 60 days after receiving the notice,the adopting person must be present in Vietnam

Step 5: Delivery and receipt of adopted children

The delivery and receipt of an adopted child must be recorded in a minutes bearing the signatures or fingerprints of the involved parties and the representative of the provincial-level Justice Department.

Following the delivery and receipt of an adopted child, the provincial-level Justice Department shall send such decision to the overseas Vietnamese representative mission of the adoption for taking child protection measures when necessary.

The information above is the condition and procedure for adoption by foreigners under the newest regulations.

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