Adoptions from Vietnam Through a Special Adoption Program for Children with Special Needs, Children Aged Five and Older, and Children in Biological Sibling Groups May Commence Under the Hague Adoption Convention Three Weeks After Vietnam Authorizes U.S. Adoption Service Providers

Last Updated: June 15, 2014


The Department of State is pleased to announce that through our close engagement with the Government of Vietnam a new intercountry adoption program with Vietnam may soon begin. Intercountry adoptions from Vietnam to the United States, through a special adoption program for children with special needs, children aged five and older, and children in biological sibling groups (Special Adoption Program) may commence three weeks after Vietnam’s Central Authority, the Ministry of Justice, announces its authorization of U.S. adoption service providers (ASPs). The Department of State anticipates that the Ministry of Justice will announce its authorization decision by the end of 2014. We will continue to provide updates on this website regarding the Ministry of Justice’s timeline for ASP authorization as the information is relayed to us and will post another announcement with the date of the Ministry of Justice’s ASP authorization decision and the effective date of the commencement of the Special Adoption Program as soon as they are available.                                                                   

The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for Vietnam on February 1, 2012. At that time, Vietnam did not have a fully functional Convention process in place and the United States determined that it would not be able to process Convention intercountry adoptions. The Government of Vietnam has taken a number of steps to improve its implementation of the Convention, particularly in adoptions of children with special needs and for older children and biological sibling groups placed on Vietnam’s “List 2” for matching by Vietnam’s Central Authority. The United States has now determined that through the Special Adoption Program it will be able to process Convention adoptions from Vietnam three weeks after Vietnam authorizes U.S. ASPs. The United States will not process Convention adoptions from Vietnam that fall outside the parameters of the Special Adoption Program. However, we will continue to monitor the Vietnamese child welfare program, to determine if the intercountry adoption program can be expanded.                                

Prospective adoptive parents and adoption service providers should not initiate, seek to initiate, or claim to initiate adoption programs or cases in Vietnam until the Department of State announces the effective date of Vietnam’s authorization of U.S. ASPs and the effective date of the commencement of the Special Adoption Program. 

Further, prospective adoptive parents and ASPs should not file any Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) until the effective date of the commencement of the Special Adoption Program, as USCIS cannot accept any Form I-800 until that date. 

The Department of State will provide updated information on as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States. Email inquiries may be directed to