Vietnamese Law on Adoption

This page provides a brief introduction to selected elements of the Vietnamese Law on Adoption.

It must be stressed that this page is a work in progress, and is subject to verification.

The Vietnamese Law on Adoption took effect from January 1st, 2011. It contains 53 Articles, and addresses both domestic and intercountry adoption. In Article 2, the Law states the purpose of adoption as seeking to provide a long term and sustainable relationship between the adoptive parents and adopted child, for the best interests of the child, as well as ensuring the provision of care and nurturance and education to the child within a family environment.

The best interests of the child are reflected throughout the Law, and in the approach to ensuring that proper checks and balances are provided for, in terms of consents and approvals.

Article 8 indicates that children under 16 years of age are eligible for adoption, and that a child can be adopted by a person who is single or by a married couple. Specifically, the Vietnamese Government encourages the adoption of orphans, abandoned children and other children in special circumstances.

The Law expressly forbids taking advantage of adoption to gain profit, conduct abuse or exploitation of the child, or to engage in child trafficking, or to discriminate between adopted and birth children.

Article 15 outlines the process for arranging alternative family placement for a child, where he/she is not cared for in his/her own family environment. This effectively describes the domestic adoption process from the child’s perspective. In addition, Article 21 outlines the requirements for giving & receiving consent to an adoption.

Article 24 states that the adoptive parents have full rights and obligations towards the adopted child from the date of reception of the child. This takes place at a ceremony for the transfer and reception of the child in the offices of the Provincial Department of Justice in the province in which the child resides (Article 37).

Article 14 of the Vietnamese law outlines the requirements for adopters. For foreign applicants seeking to adopt a Vietnamese child out of Vietnam, these requirements also apply, and include sufficient health, economic conditions and accommodations to ensure the care, nurturance and education of the adopted child. In addition, adoptive parents must be at least 20 years older than the child to be adopted, have good morals, and full civil behavioural capacity.

Please note that additional policies may apply, as set by the Vietnamese Authorities.