I am a 40-year-old French married to a 35-year-old Vietnamese woman. We are currently living in Paris. We do not have children and are planning to adopt my wife’s nephew (son of my wife’s sister). He was born in 2012 and is now living in Vietnam. What papers and procedures must I prepare in France and Vietnam to adopt the child?
According to the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption to which both Vietnam and France have acceded, the adoption by a permanent resident of the receiving State (France, in this case) of a child permanently residing in the State of origin (Vietnam, in this case) will take place only if:
(i) The competent agencies of Vietnam have determined that the child is adoptable; and that the adoption is in the child’s rights and interests; and,
(ii) The competent agencies of France have determined that you and your wife are eligible and suited to adopt the child; ensured that both of you have been counseled as may be necessary; and determined that the child is or will be permitted to enter and reside permanently in France.
Articles 14 and 15 of the Convention provide that people permanently residing in a Contracting State and wishing to adopt a child permanently residing in another Contracting State must apply to the Central Agency in the State of their permanent residence. Therefore, in addition to the regulations of Vietnamese law that we will provide below, you will also have to apply to a competent French adoption agency.
If such French agency finds that you satisfy all the conditions and are eligible to adopt the child, it will prepare a report including information about your identity, eligibility and suitability to adopt, background, family and medical history, social environment, reasons for adoption, ability to undertake an inter-country adoption, as well as the characteristics of the child that you will adopt. It then must transmit the report to the Central Agency of Vietnam.
As provided in the Hague Convention, the French Central Agency for inter-country adoption is the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ Inter-country Adoption Service, while such agency in Vietnam is the Department of Adoption under the Ministry of Justice.
Conditions on child adoption
Overseas Vietnamese being the natural aunt of a child permanently residing in Vietnam may adopt that child in accordance with regulations on inter-country adoption of specific children__Photo: Internet
According to the Vietnamese law, overseas Vietnamese being the natural aunt of a child permanently residing in Vietnam may adopt that child in accordance with the regulations on inter-country adoption of specific children. However, you and your wife must fully meet the following conditions:
- Having full civil act capacity;
- Being 20 years or more older than the to-be-adopted child;
- Having health, financial and accommodation conditions for assuring the care for, and nurture and education of, the child.
- Having good ethical qualities.
- Not having some of the parental rights over a minor child restricted; not executing an administrative handling decision at an educational institution or a health establishment; not serving an imprisonment penalty; and not having a criminal record that has not yet been remitted of any of the crimes: intentionally infringing upon another’s life, health, dignity and honor; maltreating or persecuting one’s grandparents, parents, spouse, children, grandchildren or caretaker; enticing or compelling a minor to violate the law or harboring a minor violator; trafficking in, fraudulently swapping or appropriating children; and,
- Satisfying all the conditions prescribed by the French law to adopt the child.
Dossiers and procedures for child adoption
* You will have to prepare two sets of dossiers, each of which must comprise:
- A written request for adoption;
- A copy of the passport or a valid substitute paper;
- A written permission for adopting a child in Vietnam;
- A completed questionnaire on psychology and family;
- A health certificate;
- An income and property certificate;
- A judicial record sheet;
- A written certification of the marital status; and,
- A paper proving that your wife is the natural aunt of the child.
All the above-mentioned documents and papers, except for the written request for adoption, must be made, issued or certified by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ Inter-country Adoption Service.
* A dossier of the to-be-adopted child must comprise:
- A birth certificate;
- A health certificate issued by a district- or higher-level health agency;
- Two photos of the whole body looking straight, taken within the past six months;
- A document on the remarkable characteristics, hobbies and habits of the child, in which his health condition and diseases (if any) must be stated to help the adoptive parent take care of and educate the child.
Dossier submission and processing
You may submit such dossier to the French Central Agency on adoption in the place where you reside, or to the Department of Adoption under the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice.
Within 15 days after receiving the valid dossier, the Ministry of Justice’s Department of Adoption will transfer it to the provincial-level Justice Department of the locality where your nephew permanently resides for submission to the provincial-level People’s Committee for consideration and decision. Within 15 days after receiving the dossier from the Justice Department, the People’s Committee will decide to allow the child’s inter-country adoption.
Right after receiving the decision of the People’s Committee, the Justice Department will notify you to come to Vietnam to receive the child. You must be present in Vietnam within 60 days after receiving this notice. In case you and your wife wish to adopt the child but either of you cannot be present at the child delivery and receipt ceremony, the absent person must give authorization to the other. The said time limit may be extended for a plausible reason but must not exceed 90 days. Past that time limit, if you fail to come to receive the child, the People’s Committee will cancel the decision to allow the child’s adoption.- (VLLF)