Adoption of foreign children by Vietnamese
As per the Vietnamese law on child adoption, a child’s blood aunt may adopt him/her while his/her grandparent may not (Article 13.6 of the 2010 Law on Child Adoption.

I am a Russian woman married to a Vietnamese man for six years now. Our five-year son holds the Russian citizenship. Unfortunately, my husband has died of a severe illness. By Vietnamese tradition, our husband’s family which had him as the only son wishes to raise our son as their only direct descendant. My economic conditions are too difficult to take care of him on my own and he does not have the Vietnamese citizenship. Can any blood aunt or paternal grandparent of my son adopt him?

As per the Vietnamese law on child adoption, a child’s blood aunt may adopt him/her while his/her grandparent may not (Article 13.6 of the 2010 Law on Child Adoption (the Law)).

Because your son holds a foreign citizenship, this case is a case of inter-country child adoption (a Vietnamese citizen adopts a foreign child). Under Article 29.2 of the Law, his blood aunt is required to satisfy the conditions prescribed by Vietnamese law as well as those prescribed by Russian law for child adoption.

Below are some Vietnamese regulations on child adoption that may be relevant to your case:

A child’s blood aunt must fully satisfy the following conditions to adopt him/her:

• Having the full civil act capacity (she is aged at least full 18 years, has the full civil act capacity, does not fall into the cases of civil act capacity loss or limitation specified by law, has difficulties cognizing and controlling her acts as prescribed in Articles 22, 23 and 24 of the 2015 Civil Code of Vietnam);

• Having good ethical qualities;

• Not falling into one of the following cases: Having some of the parental rights over a minor child restricted; currently serving an administrative handling decision at an educational institution or a medical treatment establishment; currently serving an imprisonment penalty; or having a criminal record of commission 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, which has not been remitted yet.

To complete the formalities for child adoption in Russia, she has to submit an application dossier to the Ministry of Justice for being considered for grant of a certificate of adopting person’s eligibility under Vietnamese law (Article 40.1 of the Law). Such dossier must comprise:

• A written request for adoption;

• A copy of her passport or identity card or a valid substitute paper;

• Her judicial record sheet; and

• A written certification of her marital status.

The Ministry of Justice will consider and grant her a certificate of adopting person’s eligibility under Vietnamese law within 30 days after receiving her valid dossier. When necessary, the Ministry of Justice may request the provincial-level Justice Department of the locality where she permanently resides to verify her dossier’s information and this time limit may be prolonged for no more than 60 days.

After completing the procedures for adopting your son, his aunt has to carry out the recording procedure at the provincial-level Justice Department and commune-level of the locality where she permanently resides. She will have to produce to the provincial-level Justice Department the original written registration of child adoption granted by a Russian competent authority. The provincial-level Justice Department will record the child adoption in the child adoption register and grant her a child adoption recording certificate (Article 40.2 of the Law and Article 30 of the Government’s Decree 19/2011/ND-CP guiding the law, as amended by Decree 114 of 2016).

In addition, to ensure that the adoption of your son encounters no legal problem, you and your son’s aunt should carefully study the Russian regulations on child adoption.- (VLLF)

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