Adoption Information: Vietnam
USCIS Will Begin Processing Hague Convention Intercountry Adoptions from Vietnam Under a Special Adoption Program
Intercountry Adoptions under the Hague Adoption Convention
Beginning September 16, 2014, USCIS will accept and adjudicate Form I-800 petitions filed on behalf of children from Vietnam who meet the specific criteria of a Special Adoption Program under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention).
Since 2012, the Government of Vietnam has taken a number of steps to improve its implementation of the Convention, particularly with respect to adoptions of children with special needs, older children, and biological sibling groups identified for matching by Vietnam’s Central Authority.
As a result, the Department of State (State) has determined that it can issue Hague Adoption Certificates on a case-by-case basis for adoptions of such children identified by Vietnam’s Central Authority as meeting the Special Adoption Program’s criteria.
USCIS and State will not approve Hague Adoption Convention adoptions from Vietnam that do not meet the program’s criteria.
What This Means for U.S. Prospective Adoptive Parents
Prospective Adoptive Parents Wishing to Pursue a Hague Convention Adoption in Vietnam
Under this Hague Adoption Convention Special Adoption Program, U.S. prospective adoptive parents must work with an Adoption Service Provider (ASP) that has been authorized by Vietnam to facilitate intercountry adoptions under the Special Adoption Program and may only seek to adopt a child or children from Vietnam referred by the Vietnamese Central Authority:
- Who has/have special needs;
- Who is/are age five and older; or
- Who are in a biological sibling group.
If the child you are intending to adopt meets one or more of these qualifications, your adoption case can proceed under the Hague Adoption Convention Special Adoption Program.
Note: USCIS will not approve any Hague Adoption Convention petitions for children from Vietnam who do not meet one or more of these three categories under the Special Adoption Program, or who were not referred by the Vietnamese Central Authority. Additionally, USCIS will deny any Form I-800 petition where an ASP was used in Vietnam that was not authorized to facilitate intercountry adoptions under the Special Adoption Program.
Beginning September 16, 2014, to adopt a child from Vietnam who meets any of the Special Adoption Program’s three categories above, U.S. prospective adoptive parents must file the following forms with USCIS:
- Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, to determine a parent’s eligibility and suitability to adopt a child from a Convention country; and
- Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, on behalf of a child habitually resident in Vietnam after USCIS approves the Form I-800A application.
Please see the chart below to determine whether your intercountry adoption case for a child from Vietnam can proceed under the Hague Adoption Convention Special Adoption Program:
Status of Child(ren) from Vietnam
Can Your Adoption Case Proceed under the Hague Adoption Convention Special Adoption Program?
If a child from Vietnam has special needs…
If a child from Vietnam is aged five and older…
If children from Vietnam are adopted as a birth sibling group…
If a child from Vietnam is under 5 years old, but has special needs…
If children from Vietnam are under the age of five and do not have special needs, but are adopted as a birth sibling group…
The Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for Vietnam on February 1, 2012. As of that date, any new intercountry adoptions between the United States and Vietnam must comply with the Convention standards. 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 adoptions from Vietnam.
Based on an assessment of the additional steps taken by the government of Vietnam to implement the Convention, the Department of State in 2014 determined that it could begin processing certain intercountry adoptions from Vietnam through a Special Adoption Program under the Hague Adoption Convention. Processing of these cases will begin three weeks after the date that Vietnam’s Central Authority, the Ministry of Justice, announces its authorization of U.S. adoption service providers.