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Intercountry Adoption

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Country Information

Vietnam

Vietnam
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Reconsider travel to Vietnam due to COVID-19.

Reconsider travel to Vietnam due to COVID-19

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Vietnam due to COVID-19. 

Vietnam's borders are still closed for all foreign nationals with few exceptions. Vietnam has resumed most domestic transportation options (including airports) and business operations (including day cares and schools). Other improved conditions have been reported within Vietnam.  Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Vietnam.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Vietnam:

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

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Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes

Hague Convention Information

VIETNAM: Transition to Open Processing of Intercountry Adoptions

Since 2014, intercountry adoptions between Vietnam and the United States have been processed by the Central Authorities of the two countries according to terms of a Special Adoption Program and under the Hague Adoption Convention.  Under the Special Adoption Program only children with special needs, children over age five, or sibling groups are eligible to be adopted.  Since the Special Adoption Program was established, over 100 children have been adopted from Vietnam by American families.

On March 5, 2019, the Government of Vietnam issued Decree 24/2019/ND-CP containing a number of amendments in relation to adoption processing.  Decree 24/2019/ND-CP went into effect shortly thereafter on April 25, 2019.  In order to align the U.S.-Vietnam Adoption Program more closely to Vietnam’s Decree 24/2019/ND-CP process, the Office of Children's Issues, as the U.S. Central Authority under the Hague Adoption Convention, is participating in ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Justice, as Vietnam’s Central Authority under the Hague Adoption Convention, over the terms of transition from the current Special Adoption Program to more expanded Hague adoption processing.  We anticipate that future processing of adoptions under Decree 24/2019/ND-CP to the United States, after a yet to be determined date, would no longer be subject to the limited categories of the Special Adoption Program and more children will be eligible for intercountry adoption.

The Office of Children’s Issues will make available additional information upon completion of these transition discussions, at which future date we anticipate the United States and Vietnam will issue a joint formal announcement regarding the commencement of more expanded Hague adoption processing.

NOTE: The information that follows below reflects the current status of adoption processing in Vietnam.  This information will be updated upon completion of these transition discussions, reflecting the new terms of adoption processing in line with the anticipated formal joint announcement.

Hague Adoption Convention Country?  YES

Vietnam is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention).  Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries must be done in accordance with the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations; as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Vietnam.

Are Intercountry Adoptions between Vietnam and the United States possible?

a)    Only intercountry adoptions from Vietnam meeting certain criteria are possible. Intercountry adoptions from Vietnam to the United States may proceed through a program for children with special needs, children aged five and older, and children in biological sibling groups, known as the Special Adoption Program.  U.S. prospective adoptive parents interested in adopting a child from Vietnam through the Special Adoption Program should contact one of the U.S. accredited adoption service providers authorized by the Government of Vietnam to assist in such cases.

The United States Government will not process intercountry adoptions from Vietnam that fall outside the parameters of the Special Adoption Program.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Vietnam, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt a child from Vietnam must meet the following requirements imposed by Vietnam:

  • Minimum Residency: Vietnam does not require that prospective adoptive parents reside in Vietnam for a specific period prior to starting or completing an intercountry adoption, only that both adopting parents must travel to Vietnam to receive the adopted child in person at the “Giving and Receiving” ceremony at the provincial Department of Justice.  In exceptional cases, if only one member of an adopting married couple travels to Vietnam, Vietnam requires that the traveling spouse have in his/her possession a Power of Attorney from the other spouse, notarized and authenticated by the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington, DC, or one of the Vietnamese Consulates General elsewhere in the United States (please see the contact information below for the location nearest you).
  • Age of Adopting Parents: Under Vietnamese law, prospective adoptive parents must be at least 20 years older than the child to be adopted unless the prospective adoptive parent is a stepparent or maternal/paternal aunt or uncle of the child to be adopted.
  • Marriage: Vietnamese law permits intercountry adoption by both single persons and heterosexual couples.
  • Minimum Income: Vietnam has no minimum income requirements. The Vietnamese Central Authority, the Ministry of Justice, Department of Adoptions (MOJ/DA), will assess the economic, housing, and health conditions of prospective adoptive parents, who must demonstrate that they can ensure the care and education of the adopted child.
  • Other requirements: Vietnamese authorities impose other eligibility requirements, including that the prospective adoptive parents are of good moral character and have "full civil act capacity”.  Specifically, Vietnam requires that prospective adoptive parents, not have their parental rights restricted if they have biological children, must not be in prison, and must not be subject to administrative sanctions imposed by an educational or medical institution.  Specific offenses that will disqualify prospective adoptive parents include: deliberately violating the life, health, dignity, and honor of others; mistreating grandparents, parents, spouses, children, or caregivers; enticing, coercing, or hiding juvenile offenders; and the trafficking, exchanging, or kidnapping of children.  The Ministry of Justice, Department of Adoptions (Vietnam’s Adoption Authority) has expressed opposition to adoption by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) couples, whether married or unmarried.

Who Can Be Adopted

Because Vietnam is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Vietnam must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for intercountry adoption.  For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Vietnam have determined that placement of the child within Vietnam has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.

At this time only children who qualify under the Special Adoption Program (see above) are eligible for intercountry adoption from Vietnam to the United States.

In addition to qualifying as a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, the child must also meet the following requirements imposed by Vietnam:

Eligibility for adoption

  • Relinquishment: For a child to be eligible for adoption, the birth parent(s) or guardian(s) must give their voluntary written consent to the emigration and adoption of the child to the provincial Department of Justice that has jurisdiction. The consent must be given no earlier than 15 days after the child’s birth.  Birth parent(s) or guardians have 30 days from the date their consent was given to retract it before the child can be determined eligible for intercountry adoption.
  • Abandonment: For abandoned children whose birth parents are unknown and who are being cared for in an institution, the head of the institution where the child lives gives consent to the adoption to the provincial Department of Justice. In addition, the provincial police must provide the provincial Department of Justice with a police report verifying the search for birth parents.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: The child must be under 16 years old to be eligible for intercountry adoption. Children who are between 16 and 18 may be adopted by a stepparent or maternal/paternal uncle or aunt. Children who are nine or older must give their voluntary consent to the adoption.
  • Sibling Adoptions and Older children: Children in biological sibling groups of two or more and children who are older than five years of age and are living in orphanages may be eligible for intercountry adoption through the Special Adoption Program. Children living outside of orphanages are not eligible for intercountry adoption even if they are in sibling groups or aged five and older.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Children who are living in orphanages, with disabilities or with serious medical conditions may be eligible for intercountry adoption through the Special Adoption Program (hereafter referred to as Special Needs children). These disabilities and serious medical conditions include cleft lip; cleft palate; blindness in one or two eyes; deafness; club hand(s) or leg(s), missing toe(s), finger(s), hand(s) or foot (feet); heart diseases; missing anus and reproductive organs; blood diseases; or other disabilities or serious diseases that require emergency or lifelong treatment, as defined  in Vietnamese Law. The determination on the child’s medical condition lies with competent Vietnamese authorities.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: The Vietnamese requirement to conduct a search for eligible domestic prospective adoptive parents is waived for children with disabilities and serious medical conditions as defined in Vietnamese adoption law and Decree 24/2019/ND-CP.

How to Adopt

Warning: Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Vietnam before:  1) USCIS has approved your Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, 2) the Central Authority of Vietnam has determined the child is eligible for intercountry adoption, 3) USCIS has provisionally approved your Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, and 4) a U.S. consular officer has issued an “Article 5/17 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.

Vietnam’s Central Adoption Authority
Ministry of Justice, Department of Adoptions (MOJ/DA)

The Process

Because Vietnam is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from Vietnam must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is provided below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may cause significant delays or result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider To Act as Your Primary Provider that has Been Authorized by Vietnam’s Central Authority to Operate in Vietnam, listed below. Any inquiries regarding the intercountry adoptions from Vietnam to the United States can be sent to HanoiAdoptions@state.gov.

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-800A)

3.  Apply to Vietnam’s Authorities to Adopt, and Be Matched with a Child

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United

     States as a Convention Adoptee (Form I-800) and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with

     the Adoption (Art. 5/17 letter)

5.  Adopt the Child in Vietnam

6.  Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider That Has Been Authorized by Vietnam’s Central Authority to Operate in Vietnam

The first step in adopting a child from Vietnam is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide intercountry adoption services to U.S. citizens and has been authorized by the Government of Vietnam.

Vietnam’s Central Authority has authorized three U.S. adoption service providers to facilitate intercountry adoptions in Vietnam:

A primary provider must be identified in each Convention case and only accredited or approved adoption service providers may act as the primary provider in your case.  Unless a public domestic authority is providing all adoption services in your case, a primary provider is required in every intercountry adoption case.  Your primary provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided consistent with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Supervising and being responsible for any supervised providers, and otherwise complying with the requirements regarding the provision of adoption services using other providers (see 22 CFR 96.14); and  
  • Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Vietnam, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Vietnam and U.S. immigration law.

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must be found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS by submitting Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country. You will need to submit a home study, provide biometrics, and cooperate in a background check as part of this application. Read more about Suitability and Eligibility Requirements. Unless an exception applies, the home study must be prepared by a person who is authorized under 22 CFR 96 to prepare home studies and must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311.

3.  Apply to Vietnam’s Authorities to Adopt, and be Matched with a Child

Submit Your Dossier to the Central Authority

After USCIS determines that you are suitable and eligible to adopt and approves the Form I-800A application, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Vietnam as part of your adoption application.  Vietnam’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also suitable and eligible to adopt under Vietnam’s law.

Receive a Referral for a Child from the Central Authority

If both the United States and Vietnam determine that you are suitable and eligible to adopt, and Vietnam’s Central Authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is eligible for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Central Authority for Convention adoptions in Vietnam may provide you with a referral.  The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of the child.  

NOTE: Please note that since Vietnam’s Decree 24/2019/ND-CP (announced March 5, 2019,) went into effect on April 25, 2019, the matching process under the Special Adoption Program for children with special needs is now different from the process for older children and sibling groups. The matching process for special needs children is done by the Central Authority at the national level; the matching for older children/sibling groups is done at the local level by the provincial authorities. Special needs only refers to the group of children with disabilities listed in Decree 24/2019/ND-CP. All other groups of children must follow matching procedures by Vietnamese provincial authorities.

Along with the referral, the adoption authority in Vietnam will provide a basic background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral. We encourage families to consider consulting with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but you must decide for yourself whether you will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for a specific child. You must also adhere to the recommendations in the home study submitted to USCIS with respect to the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child. Learn more about Health Considerations. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Central Authority in Vietnam. Learn more about this critical decision.

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

Submit a Petition for a Determination on the Child’s Immigration Eligibility

After you accept being matched with a particular child, you will apply to USCIS for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States by filing the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child appears to meet the definition of a Convention adoptee and will likely be eligible to be admitted to the United States.

Submit an Immigrant Visa Application

After provisional approval of Form I-800 petition, you or your adoption service provider will submit a visa application to the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Vietnam.  

You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number. Use this information to log into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to file the Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) for your child. An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block.  Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.  A consular officer will review the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and the visa application and, if applicable, advise you of options for the waiver of any ineligibilities related to the visa application.

The consular officer in the U.S. Embassy Hanoi will review the adoption casefiles to issue a letter (referred to as an “Article 5/17 Letter”) to Vietnam’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Vietnam, if all Convention requirements are met and the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the Vietnam’s Central Authority that the parents are suitable and eligible to adopt, that the child appears eligible to enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Warning: Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Vietnam before you receive provisional approval of your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5.  Adopt the Child in Vietnam

Remember: Before you adopt a child in Vietnam, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps you can proceed to finalize the adoption.

The process for finalizing the adoption in Vietnam generally includes the following:

Role of Central Authority:

  • Several governmental bodies at the national and provincial levels have roles in the intercountry adoption process in Vietnam. 
  • The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is the Central Authority for intercountry adoption in Vietnam. The Department of Adoptions under the Ministry of Justice (MOJ/DA), as the Vietnamese competent authority for intercountry adoptions, is responsible for the overall supervision of the adoption process. The MOJ authorizes foreign adoption agencies to operate in Vietnam, accepts and reviews dossiers of prospective adoptive parents, reviews referrals made by provincial authorities, and verifies that the adoption was in accordance with Vietnam’s adoption law and the Hague Adoption Convention. The MOJ/DA matches prospective adoptive parents with children with special needs and reviews referrals made by the provincial authority for other childen. 
  • The provincial Department of Justice determines the eligibility of the child for intercountry adoption, matches prospective adoptive parents with children other than special needs children, organizes the “Giving and Receiving” ceremony, and maintains the adoption registry, which is a record of all adoption cases processed in the province that contains information on the adopted child, adoptive parents, and the date the provincial People’s Committee issued the Adoption Decree. 
  • The provincial People’s Committee approves matches by the provincial Department of Justice and issues the Inter-country Adoption Decree.

Role of the Court: Vietnam’s courts do not issue Adoption Decrees in Vietnamese Convention adoptions. The Vietnamese courts have no role in intercountry adoptions.

Role of Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Providers: The accredited and authorized U.S. adoption service provider facilitates the adoption on behalf of the prospective adoptive parents, including assembling the application dossier for submission to MOJ/DA, providing logistical support for prospective adoptive parents and their adopted child(ren), and providing post-adoption reports to MOJ/DA. After MOJ/DA issues an official match, adoption service providers, if permitted, may perform an assessment on the child, including their medical condition, so that prospective adoptive parents can make an informed decision about the adoption.  

Unless a public domestic authority is providing all adoption services in your case, there must be a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider acting as the primary provider in every case. Also, any agency or person providing an adoption service on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in any Convention or non-Convention intercountry adoption case must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service means any one of the following six services:

  • Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
  • Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption; 
  • Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study; 
  • Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child; 
  • Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or 
  • When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement. 22 CFR 96.2 Definitions.

Adoption Application:  

  • Application: Prospective adoptive parents file their application dossier with MOJ/DA through an accredited U.S. adoption service provider that has been authorized by the Government of Vietnam.        
  • Matching: MOJ/DA reviews and approves the application dossier of the prospective adoptive parent(s). In cases of children with special needs, MOJ/DA will match prospective adoptive parents with an eligible child. If the prospective adoptive parents pursue adoption of an older child, sibling groups, or children otherwise not determined as special needs, their dossier will be transferred to the Provincial Department of Justice for preliminary matching with suitable child(ren). The matching must be approved by the Provincial People’s Committee where the child is residing and reviewed by MOJ/DA.
  •  Prospective adoptive parents have 30 days to either accept or refuse the referral in writing to MOJ/DA. Formal acceptance is defined by the MOJ/DA as notification by the adoption service provider to the MOJ/DA of referral acceptance and receipt by the MOJ/DA of the “Article 5/17 Letter.”  [Note: The Article 5/17 letter informs the foreign central authority that U.S. competent authorities have determined that the PAPs are eligible and suited to adopt, that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.]  “Article 5/17 Letters” issued by the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi indicate that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suitable to adopt and; that the adopted child is or will be authorized to enter and reside permanently in the United States; and that the adoption may proceed.
  • In order for the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi to issue an “Article 5/17 Letter,” USCIS must provisionally approve the child’s Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, which may take an average of 30 days upon USCIS’ receipt of the filing.  USCIS also must notify the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi of the provisional approval. If a child has urgent medical needs that have been clearly articulated by the MOJ/DA in the child’s background report and these medical needs meet USCIS expedite criteria, prospective adoptive parents may wish to request expeditious processing of their Form I-800 petition from USCIS.
  • The MOJ/DA can extend the 30-day response timeframe for an additional 30 days one time only.  Prospective adoptive parents or their adoption service provider may request this extension in writing to the MOJ/DA. After the response time expires (30 days, or 60 days if extended), the MOJ/DA may refer the child to another prospective adoptive family as a potential match.
  • To ensure that the referral does not expire while awaiting USCIS and Department of State processing, prospective adoptive parents should be prepared to file the Form I-800 petition with USCIS as soon as possible after deciding to accept a referral; ensure that the Form I-800 petition information is as complete and accurate as possible at the time of submission in order to avoid requests from USCIS for additional information; notify the MOJ/DA of acceptance of the referral within 30 days; and simultaneously request from the MOJ/DA the one-time, 30 day extension.
  •  If prospective adoptive parents refuse the referral without a reasonable justification, they may not be eligible to receive another referral.
  • Prior Contact: Prospective adoptive parents are generally not allowed to have any contact with the child’s birth parents, guardian, or institutions with custody of the child until they have an approved Form I-800A, the referral letter by MOJ/DA, and the required consents to the adoption have been obtained unless the MOJ/DA of Vietnam permitted the contact or the prospective adoptive parents were related to the child before the adoption. See 8 CFR 204.309(b)(2).
  • Time Frame: Intercountry adoptions in Vietnam may take approximately one year to complete since your filing date of Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country. Below is the estimated time frame for major steps:
  • Note: It is difficult to predict with certainty how much time is required to complete an adoption in Vietnam. Adoption processing depends on many variables; including how quickly prospective adoptive families prepare their dossier, the wait time to be matched with an eligible child, the workload of American and Vietnamese adoption authorities, and the specific circumstances of each case. Although Vietnam processes adoptions through the Special Adoption Program as expeditiously as possible, it should be noted that the adoption process in general can be lengthy.

Adoption Fees: In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your adoption service provider will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process. On average, the estimated cost to complete one adoption case approximately ranges from $40,000 to $42,000, not including passport or visa fees.

  • Application fee: 9,000,000 VND (approximately 391 USD as of July 2020) to be paid to MOJ/DA when prospective adoptive parents submit their application dossier. Prospective adoptive parents who are step-parents, uncles, or aunts of the adopted child pay 50 percent of the application fee. Prospective adoptive parents who apply to adopt more than one child who are siblings pay 50 percent of the application fee for each additional child.
  • Adoption processing fee: MOJ/DA will waive the fee for adoptions of children with special needs.  Otherwise, the fee would be 50,000,000 VND (approximately 2,200 USD as of July 2020) to be paid to MOJ/DA when prospective adoptive parents accept the child referred to them by MOJ/DA.

Other fees associated with adopting from Vietnam may include:

  • Legalization of documents by the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in the United States costs 10 USD per document (as of July 2020). The fee is for authentication of the seal.
  • Passport application fee is 200,000 VND per passport (approximately 9 USD as of July 2020).
  • Translations of documents can be done in the United States and the costs may vary.
  • Fees for notarizing documents for the Vietnamese passport application should be nominal and posted by the provincial DOJ.
  • In some cases, adoption service providers may be asked to reimburse certain medical expenses for the child, including psychological counseling and preparation for children to be adopted.

We encourage prospective adoptive parents to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by them directly or through your U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to the Convention, U.S. law, or the law of Vietnam, with your adoption service provider, and, when appropriate, through the Complaint Registry.  Improper payments violate applicable law or create the appearance of buying a child, and could put all future adoptions in Vietnam at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Further, the IAA makes certain actions relating to intercountry adoptions unlawful, and subject to civil and criminal penalties. These include offering, giving, soliciting, or accepting inducement by way of compensation intended to influence or affect the relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing functions as a competent central authority, or to engage another person as an agent to take any such action.

Documents Required: The prospective adoptive parent(s) are required to submit to the MOJ/DA the following documents in the application dossier:]

  • Adoption application form (as regulated by MOJ)
  • Copy of U.S. passport or other equivalent identification document
  • Certificate of child adoption approval issued by a competent U.S. authority (also known as Form I-800A application approved by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)
  • Home study (issued within past 12 months)
  • Medical report (issued within past 12 months)
  • Confirmation of income (issued within past 12 months)
  • Criminal records (issued within past 12 months)
  • Marital status certificate (i.e. marriage certificate or single status statement)

Note: Additional documents may be requested by the MOJ/DA.  Prospective adoptive parents are required to prepare two identical sets of application dossiers.  All documents must be translated and authenticated by the Vietnamese Embassy or one of the Vietnamese consulates in the United States.

  • Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. The U.S Department of State’s Authentications Office has information on the subject.

Note: Any documents pertaining to adoption applications submitted to the Vietnamese authorities must be notarized and authenticated by the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in the United States and translated into Vietnamese. All documents submitted to the U.S. government must be translated into English.

6.  Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Once your adoption is complete, there are a few more steps to take before your child can head home.  Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate

You will need to obtain a birth certificate for your child.

You will receive the child’s original birth certificate after the “Giving and Receiving” ceremony so that you can use it to apply for a Vietnamese passport for your child. Vietnam does not issue a new or amended birth certificate to the child post-adoption indicating the adoptive parents’ name(s) as the child’s parent(s) and/or any change to the child’s name made during the adoption proceeding.

Vietnam Passport

Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Vietnam.

The adoption service provider should assist adoptive parents with obtaining a Vietnamese passport for the adopted child. Passport applications are submitted to the Ministry of Public Security, Department of Immigration in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Applications should include the following:

  • Passport application form with photo affixed, certified by the provincial Department of Justice where the adoption was finalized
  • Four separate, identical 4x6 photos with white background
  • One notarized copy of the Adoption Decree
  • One notarized copy of the Giving and Receiving Minute
  • One notarized copy of the Birth Certificate
  • One notarized copy of adoptive parents’ passports

Passport applications may be submitted at one of the following offices of the Department of Immigration:

       Hanoi Office
       44-46 Tran Phu Street
       Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
       Tel: +84-24-3825-7941

       Ho Chi Minh City Office
       333-337 Nguyen Trai Street
       District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
       Tel: +84-28-3920-1701

The passport application fee is 200,000 VND per passport (approximately $9 as of July 2020). The regular processing timeframe is five working days.].

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the birth certificate and Vietnamese passport for your child, you need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi. After the adoption is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for a final review of the case, and, if applicable, the issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate, the final approval of the Form I-800 petition, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel with you and to seek admission to the United States. Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi by email at [HanoiAdoptions@state.gov] to schedule your child’s immigrant visa appointment. As part of this process, the child must complete the medical examinations with the assigned Panel Physician to receive a medical report before the visa interview. Read more about the Medical Examination.

Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assignment of a case number and an invoice ID number. You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child. You should fill out these forms in your child's name.  Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Print and bring the DS-260 confirmation page to the visa interview. Review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

The U.S Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City processes immigrant visas for non-U.S. citizens located in Vietnam. Additional information concerning non-adoption, immigrant visa processing at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City can be found on its website: https://vn.usembassy.gov/visas/immigrant-visas/

Upon receipt of the case at post, the Consular Section generally notifies the petitioner. If the consular officer determines that the child is eligible for a visa, visa issuance after the final interview generally takes 24 hours. It is usually possible to provide a visa to adoptive parents on the same day as the immigrant visa interview. You should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi before making final travel arrangements. Additional information on immigrant visa processing can be found on our website.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s admission into the United States: An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including that the child is under the age of eighteen.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s admission into the United States: You will need to complete an adoption following your child’s admission into the United States and before the child turns eighteen for the child (if he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000) to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport

U.S. citizens are required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Once your child acquires U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for international travel. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Department of State’s Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Vietnam

In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Vietnam, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country-Specific Information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling abroad during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country. Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Vietnam, to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Vietnam, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

We urge you to comply with Vietnam’s post-adoption/post-placement requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption service provider may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Vietnam’s positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive parents.

Adoptive parents are responsible for providing post-adoption reports to both the MOJ/DA and a Vietnamese diplomatic mission in the country where the adopted child resides every six months for three consecutive years following the adoption. The report should provide information about the child’s health status, physical and psychological development, and how he or she is integrating with the adoptive family and new environment. We urge you to comply with Vietnam’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process.

In order to submit post-adoption reports, adoptive parents must fill out the “Child development report form,” which is available through your adoption service provider or from Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice. The form must then be certified by a competent home study preparer and authenticated by a Vietnamese diplomatic mission in the United States.

Under Vietnamese law, adoption service providers are responsible for reminding adoptive parents to submit post-adoption reports. Adoption service providers must also provide the MOJ/DA with a separate annual report summarizing the development of all Vietnamese children who have been adopted through their organization. In addition, adoption service providers must also provide a report on specific cases at the request of the MOJ/DA.

MOJ/DA also requires adoptive parents to disclose to their ASP any humanitarian donations to the orphanage in Vietnam. At least every six months, ASPs must report to MOJ/DA the humanitarian donations given by both the adoptive parents and their organizations.

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find it important to receive support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. You may wish to take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a website, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, which can be a useful resource to get you started on your support group search.

COMPLAINTS

If you have concerns about your intercountry adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case.  The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously. Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-800/A petition process.

The Complaint Registry is an internet based registry for filing complaints about the compliance of U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers with U.S. accreditation standards. If you think your provider's conduct may not have been in compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider. If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Complaint Registry.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Vietnam
Consular Section
Rose Garden Tower
170 Ngoc Khanh Street
Hanoi, Vietnam Tel:  84-24-3850 5000
Email:  HanoiAdoptions@state.gov
Internet:  https://vn.usembassy.gov/

Vietnam’s Central Authority
Ministry of Justice
Department of Adoptions
58-60 Tran Phu Street
Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel:  84-24-6273 9697
Fax:  84-24-6273 9359
Email:  cngt@moj.gov.vn
Internet:  http://ccn.moj.gov.vn/en/Pages/home.aspx

Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
1233 20th Street, N.W. Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel:  (202) 861-2293 or (202) 861-0694
Fax:  (202) 861-0917
Email:  vnconsular@vietnamembassy.us
Internet:  vietnamembassy-usa.org

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  Adoption@state.gov
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about a pending Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1- 913-214-5808
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)   
Internet:  uscis.gov

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Hanoi - Consular Annex
170 Ngoc Khanh
Ba Dinh District
Hanoi, Vietnam
Telephone
+(84) (24) 3850-5000
Emergency
+(84) (24) 3850-5000
Fax
+(84) (24) 3850-5010

Vietnam Map