Frequently Asked Questions

For all detailed information about the adoption process and eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents and adopted children, please visit the Department of State’s Intercountry Adoption website.

Currently, adoptions from Vietnam to the United States are only possible under the Hague Convention through the Special Adoption Program limited to children with special needs, children aged five and older, and children in biological sibling groups who live in orphanages. These criteria also apply to children who are related to a prospective adoptive parent.

If you have permanent residence status in Vietnam, you may be able to pursue a domestic adoption within the Vietnamese justice system. The U.S. Government does not have jurisdiction over this process, and the determination on whether you and the child are qualified for a local adoption would be up to the relevant Vietnamese authorities.

For immigration purposes, United States immigration law allows a U.S. citizen to file a petition for his/her stepchild as an immediate relative. For more details about this process, please refer to the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

Any adoption from Vietnam must follow a specific process designed by Vietnam’s laws and regulations to meet the Hague Convention’s requirements.  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 are eligible for intercountry adoption from Vietnam. We recommend you contact one of the three authorized U.S. adoption service providers for more information about starting the adoption process.

According to the Ministry of Justice, Department of Adoptions, which is Vietnam’s central authority on adoptions, only foreigners with permanent residence status, as determined by the Vietnamese government, can apply for domestic adoption.  U.S. citizens with definite residence status in Vietnam and renewing their residence permits periodically must follow the intercountry process under the Hague Adoption Convention.  If you have any questions about habitual residency in Vietnam, please contact the Vietnamese Immigration authority where you reside.

Please note that domestic adoption is an administrative process between the prospective adoptive parents and the Vietnamese government with no involvement of the U.S. Government. Domestic adoptions are processed by Vietnamese authorities outside of the Hague Adoption Convention regulations. The determination on whether you and the child are qualified for a local adoption would be up to the relevant Vietnamese authorities. We suggest you contact the Department of Justice of the province where the adoptive child resides for more details about the process.

Please click on this link for contact information of authorized adoption service provider in Vietnam.

For general information of adoption costs, please visit this website.  In addition, the adoption service providers should be able to provide you with itemized list of applicable fees and estimated expenses related to the adoption process.

We recommend that you work closely with your adoption service provider to seek updates on the status of your case, or you may contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office that received your application. Please visit the USCIS website for contact information.

Under Vietnam’s adoption law, any documents pertaining to adoption applications submitted to the Vietnamese authorities must be notarized and authenticated by the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulates abroad and translated into Vietnamese. For authentication of documents in the United States, please visit Authentication Office of the State Department.

It takes approximately from two to three months for the Vietnamese government to issue an adoption decision after the Article 5 letter had been approved. We recommend that you work closely with your adoption service provider to seek updates on the status of your case.

If only one of you is able to attend the Child Giving and Receiving Ceremony conducted by the Vietnamese provincial authority, you will be required to provide a power of attorney for the attending parent that is notarized by a Vietnamese Embassy/Consulate in the U.S, and translated into Vietnamese.

Once we receive all necessary documents and the case is ready for a visa interview, the process should take no more than a day.  In the majority of cases, a child’s visa is issued and printed within hours after the final visa interview, if no further administrative processing is required. However, processing delays are always a possibility. Applicants are encouraged not to plan for same-day travel and to avoid Friday interviews in case of processing delays.

Vietnam recognizes Vietnamese citizenship for adopted children from Vietnam. Please contact Vietnam Embassy or Consulate in your location for more information about Vietnamese citizenship retention policy.  However, we strongly recommend you to apply for a U.S. passport for your child as soon as possible after completing the adoption process and returning to the United States. For any future international travels, your adopted child should travel only with his/her U.S. passport, rather than the Vietnamese passport, in order to avoid any immigration issues.

Pursuant to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, internationally adopted children acquire U.S. citizenship as soon as they enter the United States. USCIS will mail your child’s Citizenship Certificate, a life-long document for primary evidence of citizenship for your child, which will arrive 8-10 weeks after the date of entry into the United States.  For more information, please visit USCIS website.

Most IH3 visa recipients become citizens of the United States once they enter the United States and receive an admittance stamp on their passport, approved by an official at a U.S. point of entry. You can take your child’s Vietnamese passport that contains the IH3 visa and the U.S. admittance stamp, evidence of the child’s relationship to a U.S. citizen parent, and the parent’s valid identification to any passport agency to apply for a U.S. passport. Please visit the Department of State’s passport website for further information.

If a domestic adoption was to be approved by the Vietnamese government, the adopted child could be eligible for an U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) I-130 petition (Petition for Alien Relative) and receive an immigrant visa in the IR2 category (Child of a United States Citizen). For more information about IR2 visa, please visit the immigrant visa website.

Vietnamese adoption records are usually retained at the Vietnamese Department of Justice of the province where the child was adopted. We suggest you contact the Department of Adoptions, Ministry of Justice of Vietnam, which is the Vietnamese central authority for intercountry adoption, for their recommendation. Their contact information can be found here.

Some adoption service providers in the U.S. may provide birth family search services. You may consider reaching out to an adoption service provider to seek further assistance. Information on accredited U.S. Adoption Service Providers is available at the Department of State’s website for intercountry adoptions. Another good place to start you research is our list of post-adoption support organizations available at this link.

In addition, records on past immigrant visa issuances would become part of an individual’s alien file retained by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which may be obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process.  You may follow this and link for information on how to make a proper request.