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Additional Information on the Operation of the U.S. – Vietnamese Special Adoption Program

Vietnam’s central adoption authority, the Ministry of Justice’s Department of Adoptions (MOJ/DA), has recently clarified certain aspects of the U.S. – Vietnamese Special Adoption Program, a program for Hague Convention adoptions of children with special needs, aged five or older, and in biological sibling groups.  According to MOJ/DA, healthy children who live outside of orphanages currently do not qualify for the Special Adoption Program, even if they are aged five or older or are in biological sibling groups.  The MOJ/DA has also indicated that these same criteria apply to children who are related to a prospective adoptive parent.

Vietnam has indicated that only children in the following groups qualify for the Special Adoption Program:

1. Children officially registered as “List 2” by the provincial Department of Justice are eligible for intercountry adoption. According to the MOJ/DA, only children officially documented as special needs, aged five or older, and in biological sibling groups are eligible for adoption. Only provincial Departments of Justice are authorized to register as “List 2” children resident at government child care facilities.

2. Children not registered as “List 2”, but who have disabilities or life threatening diseases, and children with HIV/AIDS, may be eligible for intercountry adoption. First the MOJ/DA makes a determination that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible to adopt. If approved, the MOJ/DA will then send a request to the provincial Department of Justice to determine whether the identified child is eligible for intercountry adoption. The child’s guardian must submit documentation verifying the medical condition of the child as well as go through the full legal relinquishment process in Vietnam. The rest of the process would follow Vietnam’s regular Hague Convention intercountry adoption procedures.

U.S. prospective adoptive parents who wish to adopt a Vietnamese child must work through either of the two U.S. adoption providers that have been licensed by the Vietnamese Government to operate the Special Adoption Program in Vietnam.

For more information on Vietnam’s intercountry adoption processes, please review our
Adoption Country Information for Vietnam. For any additional questions, please write to us at or call us at 1-888-407-4747.