Independence - Freedom – Happiness

No. 52/2010/QH12

Hanoi, June 17, 2010




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


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


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.


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Article 52. Effect

1. This Law takes effect on January 1. 2011.

2. The Government shall detail and guide the implementation of articles and clauses as assigned in the Law; and guide other necessary contents of this Law to meet state management requirements.

This Law was passed on June 17, 2010, by the XIIth National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at its 7th session.-





Nguyen Phu Trong