Insider's Guide to Adopting from Vietnam

Vietnam Flag Who can adopt?

• Couples who have been married a minimum of two years are eligible applicants.
• Life histories may include two divorces each. When there is a history of more divorces, the application is reviewed and determined on a case-by-case basis.
• Single women are considered on a case-by-case basis.
• The minimum age requirement is 25 years old.
• In order to adopt a child under one year of age, the woman must be under 47.
• Families with up to five children may adopt.
• When adopting an older child or a special needs child there is some flexibility in terms of the family size.

How much does it cost?

• The costs run between $13,000 and $20,000.

How long does it take?

• The time frame beginning with filing an application through placement averages 15 months.

What are the travel variables?

• Both parents are required to travel. The in-country time frame is two to three weeks, depending on the home province.

How old are the children placed for adoption?

• Children are available for adoption between the ages of three months and 11 years.
• There are many toddlers between one and a half and three years old in need of families.

The upside:

Several very young-three months to eight months-children available.
Singles/older parents can adopt.
Many agencies have beautiful "giving and receiving" ceremonies that sometimes include birth parents.

The downside:

Some inconsistencies. Make sure the U.S. agency is working with a reputable Vietnamese agency.
Travel time can vary.

--by Robin Martin

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