Procedures on child adoption
  • | | January 21, 2010 12:00 AM

Question (A Vietnamese English): My family migrated to England when I was young. I was granted English citizenship ten years ago and want to go home to adopt a Vietnamese child. What are procedures for foreigners to adopt Vietnamese children?

Angelina Jolie and her Vietnamese son, Pax Thien

Answer: Foreigners’s (including overseas Vietnamese) child adoption is regulated in Decree 69/2006/NĐ-CP, dated July 21, 2006 on the implementation of the Marriage and Family Law.


1. Adoptive parents

Adopters have to meet necessary requirements stipulated in the Marriage and Family Law, such as having full civil act capacity; being twenty years or more older than their adopted children; having good ethic qualities; having actual conditions to ensure the care for, support and education of their adopted children.

They must not be people who have certain parental rights toward minor children restricted or who have been sentenced for one of the crimes of deliberately infringing upon the life, health, dignity and honor of another person; ill-treating or persecuting their grandparents, parents, spouses, children, grandchildren and/or fosterers; inciting, forcing juvenile people to commit offenses or harboring juvenile offenders; trafficking in, fraudulently exchanging or abducting children; or the crimes of sexual abuse against children; committing acts of enticing and/or forcing their own children to act against law or social morality, but have not yet enjoyed criminal record remission.

Foreign adopters who are permanently residing in the countries not yet joining any bilateral or multilateral international agreement on child adoption cooperation with Việt Nam may also be allowed to adopt Vietnamese children if they are one of the following cases:

a. Having worked or studied in Việt Nam for 6 months or more;

b. Their spouses or parents are Vietnamese citizens or of Vietnamese origin;

c. Being next-of-kin or relatives of the to-be-adopted children or their current adopted children are blood siblings of the to-be-adopted ones;

Foreigners’ adoption of disabled children, child victims of toxic chemicals, or children affected by HIV/AIDS or other dangerous diseases, who are living in lawfully-founded nurturing establishments, can also be accepted.

2. Dossiers and procedures

Applicants have to submit their dossiers to the International Child Adoption Agency or Việt Nam-based child adoption agencies. The dossier for adoption of a Vietnamese child shall comprise the following papers:

  1. The application form for adoption of a Vietnamese child;
  2. The notarized or authenticated copy of the applicant’s passport or substitute papers;
  3. The valid permit granted by a competent body of the country where the applicant permanently resides, allowing them to adopt children;
  4. Health certification issued by a competent organization of the country where the applicant permanently resides;
  5. Certification of the applicant’s income, proving that they can afford child adoption;
  6. The applicant’s judicial record, issued by a competent agency of the country where they permanently reside.

A case of application for child adoption shall be settled within 60 days.

Foreigners adopting Vietnamese children must make written commitments to notify once every six months to the provincial People’s Committee and the International Child Adoption Agency of the situation of the adopted children in the first three years, then notify once a year in the subsequent years till the children reach full 18 years of age.