VIETNAM LEGAL DOCUMENTS

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Law 52/2010/QH12 17/06/2010 Adoption
THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
No: 52/2010/QH12
 
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
Ha Noi, day 17 month 06 year 2010                          
 

LAW

ON ADOPTION

Pursuant to the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which was amended and supplemented under Resolution No. 51/2001/QH10;
The National Assembly promulgates the Law on Adoption.

Chapter 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Scope of regulation

This Law provides the principles and conditions for adoption; competence, order and procedures for settling adoptions; rights and obligations of adoptive parents, adopted children and natural parents; and responsibilities of agencies and organizations in adoption.

Article 2. Purposes of adoption

Adoption aims to establish permanent parent and child relationships in the best interests of adopted persons, ensuring that adopted persons are nurtured, cared for and educated in the family environment.

Article 3. Interpretation of terms

In this Law. the terms below are construed as follows:

1. Adoption means the establishment of parent and child relationships between the adopting and adopted persons.

2. Adoptive parent means the person who adopts another after the adoption is registered by a competent state agency.

3. Adopted person means the person who is adopted after the adoption is registered by a competent state agency.

4. Domestic adoption means the adoption between Vietnamese citizens permanently residing in Vietnam.

5. Intercountry adoption means the adoption between a Vietnamese citizen and a foreigner, between foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam, and between Vietnamese citizens either of whom settles abroad.

6. Orphan means a child whose parents are dead or whose parent is dead while the other is unidentifiable.

7. Abandoned child means a child whose natural parents are unidentifiable.

8. Family of origin means the family of persons who have biological ties.

9. Substitute family means the family that adopts a child.

10. Nurturing center means a social relief establishment, a child support establishment or another establishment established under Vietnamese law to nurture, care for and educate children.

Article 4. Principles of settlement of adoptions

1. When settling adoptions, the right of children to live in the family of origin must be respected.

2. Adoption must ensure the legitimate rights and interests of adopted and adopting persons, free consent, equality, non-discrimination between male and female and non-violation of law and social ethics.

3. Adoption by a person living abroad is allowed only when no domestic substitute family can be found.

Article 5. Order of priority in the selection of substitute families

1. The order of priority in the selection of substitute families is as follows:

a) Step father, step mother, natural aunt or uncle of the adopted person;

b) Vietnamese citizens permanently residing in the country;

c) Foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam;

d) Vietnamese citizens settling abroad;

e) Foreigners permanently residing abroad.

2. In case more than one person of the same priority rank seek to adopt a person, adoption shall be considered and settled for the person with the best nurturing, care and education conditions.

Article 6. Protection of the right to adopt and the right to be adopted

The State protects the right to adopt and the right to be adopted in accordance with this Law and relevant laws.

Article 7. Encouragement of humanitarian assistance for the care for children in disadvantaged circumstances

The State encourages organizations and individuals to provide humanitarian assistance for the nurture, care for and education of children in disadvantaged circumstances. Humanitarian assistance must not affect adoption.

The Government shall stipulate the receipt, management and use of humanitarian assistance referred to in this Article.

Article 8. Persons allowed to be adopted

1. Children under 16 years.

2. Persons aged between full 16 years and under 18 years falling into either of the following cases:

a) To be adopted by the step father or step mother;

b) To be adopted by a natural aunt or uncle.

3. A person may be adopted by only one single
person or two persons being husband and wife.

4. The State encourages adoption of orphans, abandoned children and children in other disadvantaged circumstances.

Article 9. Competence to register adoptions

1. People's Committees of communes, wards or townships (below collectively referred to as commune-level People's Committees) in which the persons introduced for adoption or adopting persons permanently reside are competent to register domestic adoptions.

2. People's Committees of provinces or centrally run cities (below collectively referred to as provincial-level People's Committees) in which the persons introduced for adoption permanently reside are competent to decide on intercountry adoptions: provincial-level Justice Departments are competent to register intercountry adoptions.

3. Overseas representative missions of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam are competent to register adoptions by Vietnamese citizens temporarily residing abroad.

Article 10. Competence to settle requests for termination of adoption

People's Courts are competent to settle requests for termination of adoption in accordance with the law on civil procedures.

Article 11. Assurance of the right to know one's origin

1. Adopted persons have the right to know their origin. Nobody is allowed to obstruct an adopted person from knowing his)her origin.

2. The State encourages and creates conditions for adopted persons being Vietnamese living abroad to visit their native places.

Article 12. Fee for adoption registration, expenses for settlement of intercountry adoptions

1. Adopting persons shall pay an adoption registration fee.

2. In addition to the adoption registration fee referred to in Clause 1 of this Article, a foreigner not permanently residing in Vietnam and seek to adopt a child in Vietnam shall pay a sum of money to partly offset expenses for settling intercountry adoptions, including expenses for nurturing, caring for and educating the child from the time of introduction for adoption to the time of completion of procedures for the child's delivery and receipt, verifying the origin of the introduced child, delivering and receiving the child and reasonable remuneration for the nurturing center's employees.

3. The Government shall specify the competence to collect the adoption registration fee. its rates and its exemption and reduction, management and use, and expenses for settling intercountry adoptions under Clauses 1 and 2 of this Article.

4. In addition to the adoption registration fee and expenses for settling intercountry adoptions referred to in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Article, organizations and individuals engaged in intercountry adoption activities may not impose any other charges.

Article 13. Prohibited acts

1. Taking advantage of adoption for self-seeking purposes, exploiting the working capacity, sexually abusing, abducting or trafficking in children.

2. Forging papers for adoption settlement.

3. Discriminating between natural and adopted children.

4. Taking advantage of adoption to violate the population law.

5. Abusing the adoption by war invalids, persons with meritorious services to the revolution or ethnic minority persons to enjoy state incentives.

6. Grandparents adopting their grandchildren or siblings adopting one another.

7. Taking advantage of adoption to act against the law or fine national customs, practices, ethics or cultural traditions.

Chapter II

DOMESTIC ADOPTION

Article 14. Conditions on adopting persons

1. An adopting person must fully meet the following conditions:

a) Having full civil act capacity;

b) Being 20 years or more older than the adopted person;

c) Having health, financial and accommodation conditions for assuring the care for and nurture and education of the adopted child.

d) Having good ethical qualities.

2. The following persons may not adopt a child:

a) Having some of the parental rights over a minor child restricted:

b) Currently serving an administrative handling decision at an educational institution or medical treatment establishment;

c) Currently serving an imprisonment penalty:

d) 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.

3. In case the step father or step mother adopts a step child or a natural aunt or uncle adopts a nephew or cousin. Points b and c of this Article will not apply.

Article 15. Responsibility to find substitute families for children

1. In case a child cannot be nurtured in the origin family environment, a concerned agency, organization or individual shall find a substitute family for the child.

2. The finding of a substitute family for a child is stipulated as follows:

a) For an abandoned child, the People's Committee of the commune in which the child is found shall find a person or an organization to temporarily nurture the child: if a person seeks to adopt the child, the People's Committee of the commune in which the child is found shall consider and settle the adoption under law; if nobody seeks to adopt the child, the commune-level People's Committee shall compile a dossier for sending him)her to a nurturing center;

b) For an orphan who has no caretaker or a child who has natural parents and relatives who, however, are incapable of nurturing the child, the guardian, natural parents or relatives shall report this to the commune-level People's Committee of the place in which the child permanently resides for finding a substitute family for the child. The concerned commune-level People's Committee shall support the child's nurturing and post up at its head office for 60 days an announcement to find a person to adopt the child; if a person in the country seeks to adopt the child, the commune-level People's Committee shall consider and settle the adoption. Past the time limit of posting up the announcement, if nobody in the country seeks to adopt the child, the commune-level People's Committee shall compile a dossier for sending him)her to a nurturing center;

c) In case a nurturing center has children in need of a substitute family, it shall make a list thereof and send it to the provincial-level Justice Department, which shall announce it for 3 consecutive times in the province's print newspaper or other mass media.

Within 60 days from the date of announcement, if a person in the country seeks to adopt the child, he)she shall contact the commune-level People's Committee of the place in which the child permanently resides for consideration and settlement: once the adoption has been completed, the commune-level People's Committee shall report it to the provincial-level Justice Department for deletion of the name of the child in the list of children in need of substitute families.

Past 60 days from the date of announcement, if nobody in the country seeks to adopt the child, the provincial-level Justice Department shall send the list of children in need of substitute families to the Ministry of Justice;

d) The Ministry of Justice shall announce the finding of persons in the country seeking to adopt children on its website.

Within 60 days from the date of announcement, if a person in the country seeks to adopt a child, he)she shall contact the commune-level People's Committee of the place in which the child permanently resides for consideration and settlement; once the adoption has been completed, the commune-level People's Committee shall report it to the Ministry of Justice for deletion of the name of the child in the list of children in need of substitute families.

Past 60 days from the date of announcement, if nobody in the country seeks to adopt the child, the Ministry of Justice shall notify such to the provincial-level Justice Department.

Article 16. Registration of adoption needs

Vietnamese citizens who seek and are eligible to adopt a child under this Law but cannot find a child yet for adoption shall register their adoption needs with the provincial-level Justice Departments of the places in which they permanently reside; if having a child for adoption, the provincial-level Justice Department shall introduce the prospective adoptive person to the commune-level People's Committee of the place in which the child permanently resides for consideration and settlement.

Article 17. Dossiers of adopting persons A dossier of an adopting person comprises:

1. A written request for adoption;

2. A copy of the passport or identity card or a valid substitute paper;

3. The judicial record sheet;

4. Written certification of the marital status;

5. A health certificate granted by a district-or higher-level health agency; a written certification of family circumstances and housing and economic conditions granted by the commune-level People's Committee of the place in which the adopting person permanently resides, except for the case specified in Clause 3, Article 14 of this Law.

Article 18. Dossiers of persons introduced for domestic adoption

1. A dossier of a person introduced for domestic adoption comprises:

a) The birth certificate;

b) A health certificate granted by a district-or higher-level health agency;

c) Two photos of the whole body looking straight, taken within the past 6 months;

d) A record of certification made by the commune-level People's Committee or police of the place in which the child is abandoned, for abandoned children; the death certificate of the natural parent(s) or a court decision declaring the natural parent(s) of the child is (are) dead, for orphans; a court decision declaring the natural parent(s) of the person introduced for adoption is (are) missing, for persons introduced for adoption whose parent(s) is (are) missing; a court decision declaring the natural parent(s) of the person introduced for adoption have lost civil act capacity, for persons introduced for adoption whose parent(s) has (have) lost civil act capacity;

e) The receipt decision, for children in a nurturing center.

2. The natural parents or guardians shall compile dossiers of persons introduced for adoption who currently live with their families; nurturing centers shall compile dossiers of children introduced for adoption who currently live in such centers.

Article 19. Submission of dossiers, time limit for settling adoption

1. The adopting person shall submit his)her dossier and the dossier of the person introduced for adoption to the commune-level People's Committee of the place in which the person introduced for adoption or the adopting person permanently resides.

2. The time limit for settling an adoption is 30 days counting from the time the commune-level People's Committee receives a complete and valid dossier.

Article 20. Examination of dossiers, consultation of related persons

Within 10 days from the time of receiving complete and valid dossiers, the commune-level People's Committee shall examine them and complete the consultation of persons referred to in Article 21 of this Law.

Consultation shall be recorded in a document bearing the signature or fingerprint of the consulted person.

Article 21. Consent to adoption

1. Adoption must be consented to by the natural parents of the person to be adopted; if a natural parent is dead or missing or has lost civil act capacity or is unidentifiable, consent of the other must be obtained; if both natural parents are dead or missing or have lost civil act capacity or are unidentifiable, consent of the guardian must be obtained; for adopting a child aged full 9 years or older, his)her consent must be also obtained.

2. A person consenting to an adoption referred to in Clause 1 of this Article must be fully counseled by the commune-level People's Committee that has received the dossier on the adoption purpose; the rights and obligations between the adoptive parents and adopted child: and the rights and obligations between the natural parents and child after the child has been adopted.

3. Consent must be completely voluntary and honest, must not be compelled, intimidated or bribed and must not pursue personal profits and be accompanied by a request for a sum of money or other material benefits.

4. Natural parents may give consent to adoption of their child only when the child is at least 15 days old.

Article 22. Registration of adoption

1. When seeing that the adopting persons and the person introduced for adoption are eligible under this Law. the commune-level People's Committee shall organize the adoption registration, hand the adoption certificates to the adoptive parents, the natural parents or the guardian or a representative of the nurturing center, organize the delivery and receipt of the adopted child and record the adoption in the civil status book within 20 days after obtaining the consent of the persons referred to in Article 21 of this Law.

2. In case the commune-level People's Committee refuses registration, it shall, within 10 days after obtaining the consent of the persons referred to in Article 21 of this Law. issue a written reply clearly stating the reason to the adoptive parents, the natural parents or the guardian or a representative of the nurturing center.

3. The adoption certificate shall be sent to the commune-level People's Committee of the place in which the person introduced for adoption or the adopting person permanently resides.

Article 23. Notification of the growth of adopted children and supervision of the nurturing of adopted children

1. Once every six months within 3 years from the date of delivery and receipt of an adopted child, the adoptive parents shall notify the commune-level People's Committee of the place in which they permanently reside of the health, physical and mental conditions and integration of the adopted child with his)her adoptive parents and their family and community.

2. The Commune-level People's Committee of the place in which the adoptive parents permanently reside shall inspect and monitor the adoption.

Article 24. Consequences of adoption

1. From the date of delivery and receipt of an adopted child, the adoptive parents and adopted child will have all the rights and obligations between parents and child; and the adopted child and other members of the adoptive parents family will also have the rights and obligations between them under the law on marriage and family, the civil law and other relevant laws.

2. At the request of adoptive parents, competent state agencies shall decide on the change of the full names of adopted children.

Change of the full names of an adopted child aged 9 or more years must be consented to by such child.

3. The nationality of an adopted abandoned child shall be determined according to the nationality of the adoptive parents.

4. Unless otherwise agreed upon between the natural and adoptive parents, from the date of delivery and receipt of the adopted child, the natural parents no longer have the rights and obligations to care for. nurture, provide financial support for, represent at law, pay damages for, manage and dispose of personal property of, their child already adopted.

Article 25. Grounds for termination of adoption

An adoption may be terminated in the following cases:

1. The adopted child has grown mature and the adoptive parents terminate the adoption at their own will;

2. The adopted child is convicted of any of the following crimes: intentionally infringing upon the lives, health, dignity and honor of the adoptive parents; maltreating and persecuting the adoptive parents and dissipating the adoptive parents' property;

3. The adoptive parents are convicted of intentionally infringing upon the lives, health, dignity and honor of the adopted child; or maltreating and persecuting the adopted child;

4. Violating the provisions of Article 13 of this Law.

Article 26. Organizations and individuals entitled to request termination of adoption

1. Adoptive parents.

2. Grown-up adopted children.

3. Natural parents or guardians of adopted children.

4. The following agencies and organizations have the right to terminate an adoption when they obtain any of the grounds specified in Clauses 2, 3 and 4. Article 25 of this Law:

a) Labor, war invalids and social affairs agencies;

b) Women's unions.

Article 27. Consequences of the termination of adoption

1. The rights and obligations between the adoptive parents and adopted child terminate on the date the court decision to terminate the adoption takes legal effect.

2. In case the adopted person is a minor or an adult who has lost civil act capacity and working capacity, the court shall decide to assign him)her to his)her natural parents or another organization or individual for care, nurture and education in the best interests of such person.

3. In case the adopted person is assigned to his)her natural parents, the rights and obligations of the natural parents which have terminated under Clause 4, Article 24 of this Law will be restored.

4. In case the adopted person has personal property, he)she will be entitled to receive back such property; if the adopted person has contributed to the common property of the adoptive parents, he)she will be entitled to part of such property in proportion to his)her contribution as agreed upon with the adoptive parents: if no agreement can be reached, this may be brought to a court for settlement.

5. The adopted person has the right to restore his)her name as before adoption.

Chapter III

INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION

Article 28. Cases of intercountry adoption

1. Overseas Vietnamese, foreigners permanently residing in the countries being contracting parties to an adoption treaty along with Vietnam adopt a Vietnamese child.

2. Overseas Vietnamese, foreigners permanently residing abroad may adopt a specific child in the following cases:

a) He)she is the step father or step mother of the to-be-adopted child;

b) He)she is the natural aunt or uncle of the to-be-adopted child;

c) He)she has adopted a child who is a sibling of the to-be-adopted child;

d) He)she adopts a child who is disabled or infected with HIV)AIDS or another dangerous disease;

e) He)she is a foreigner currently working or studying in Vietnam for at least 1 year;

3. Vietnamese citizens permanently residing in the country adopt a foreign child.

4. Foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam adopt a child in Vietnam.

Article 29. Conditions on adopting persons

 

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