I'm new to this - please forgive my ignorance
So my wife and I have today started talking about adoption. She is from Vietnam (35yo), and I England(43yo). We have been living in Hanoi for 3 years but are considering moving to Qatar for a few years.

If were to decide to adopt a child from somewhere such as India, how does the Hague Convention affect us? There is a good chance we will choose to move back to England within 3 or 4 years, will the child have an Indian passport, or Vietnamese? British? Or if we proceed with this from Qatar then a Qatar passport?

I understand the overall aims of the convention is positive, though if there are 1000s of kids who need parents, and 1000s of willing parents around the world I wonder whether there is a positive overall impact. I've also read about the administrative nightmares of potential adopters who are based in the UK, - trying to do it from abroad might be best avoided. What would I reap by choosing this path (avoiding the Hague Convention)?

Hague Convention Countries usually have additional requirements for those adopting internationally from their country. Each Hague country's requirements are different, you will need to look at the countries you are interested in to see what their requirements are. I have heard of families adopting internationally while living abroad, but I do believe that it is more difficult. Most likely you will have to find out what your country of citizenship's requirements are for international adoption and also follow those requirements. Depending on the country you adopt from and your country's requirements will depend on what kind of passport your child will have. I'm adopting from Bulgaria, my child will become a US citizen when she passes through customs based on the type of visa she will come home with.
I assumed the Hague convention was the same for every country. A quick google reveals that Vietnam has not been accepted in the Hague convention club at least not by the UK ([url=http://www.adoptionintegrity.com/]Voices for Vietnam Adoption Integrity[/url]) - so what I want to know is if we adopt a Vietnamese child here in Hanoi (which is easy for locals such as my wife), then live here for a few years, if we go to England, are we no longer welcome there with our child?

If not then surely the world's gone madUnhappy
I would suggest that you talk with your embassy about what the requirements would be for any child that you adopt to also been seen as a UK citizen. You will most likely have to follow the UK international adoption guidelines at the same time that you are following the ones in the country you currently live in.
Hague Convention on private international law #33, which relates to international adoption, has one set of requirements for all countries that agree to ratify it. These requirements are designed to protect children, their birthparents, and their adoptive families, and to ensure that prospective parents are well-informed about the challenges of parenting an internationally adopted child.

However, in order to be eligible to ratify, a country must put in place an adoption system that both fits with its own legal system and conforms to the Hague principles and requirements. Because every country has its own legal system and culture, the actual implementation of the Hague Convention will be slightly different in each.

As an example, some countries, once they ratify the Hague, no longer allow any adoptions from non-Hague countries; others, like the U.S., do permit non-Hague adoptions from countries that haven't ratified, but urge those countries to adopt Hague-type procedures over time.

Vietnam has been preparing to ratify the Hague Convention, and ratification is expected to occur within the next year or so. However, once ratification is complete, countries that place children from Vietnam will still have the right to decide not to work with the country, because their own requirements are more strict than Vietnam's, or because they are not completely convinced that Vietnam's system will truly have the effect of keeping unethical practices out the adoption process. The U.S. intends to scrutinize the new Vietnamese system very carefully before allowing adoptions to resume, because of all the problems that occurred previously, despite Vietnam's efforts to root out corruption.

Do remember that adoption is actually composed of two separate sets of activities -- adoption and immigration. The adoption of a child, itself, must take place under the laws of the CHILD's country of citizenship. (This could include, of course, countries like Korea, where the legal system sends the child to its new home under a decree of guardianship, rather than a decree of adoption, so that the child is actually adopted in his/her new home state.)

Unfortunately, some parents look only at the adoption part, and forget about the immigration part. In some cases, though rarely with strongly Hague-compliant receiving countries, a person can adopt a child and then discover that the laws of their home country do not permit the family to immigrate a child because of problems with the homestudy, etc., or do not consider the child eligible for immigration because of the child's age or orphan status. Immigration must be done according to the laws of the PARENTS' country of citizenship.

In the U.S., if you adopt a child who does not meet various requirements or if you do not go through the mandatory paperwork with the USCIS, the only way to get an adoption visa for him/her is to live outside the U.S. for two years with the child, and then apply for a regular dependent visa. Your country may have other immigration requirements.

Adopting from a foreign country, when one spouse is a citizen of that country and one is a citizen of the country in which the child will be raised after adoption can get complicated. As an example, just because your wife may be able to do a domestic adoption from Vietnam without going through Hague procedures because she is a citizen does NOT guarantee that UK immigration will consider that the adoption is legal for immigration purposes. It may accept only Hague compliant adoptions, where a UK citizen is involved.

Since most Hague countries require the use of a licensed adoption agency and prohibit independent adoptions, except sometimes in the case of relatives, you should talk with a licensed agency (or with the appropriate government bureau that serves as an agency) in the UK before beginning an adoption. It will tell you what needs to be done in order to ensure that you will be able to immigrate your child when you decide to move back to the UK from Hanoi. You can also contact a respected immigration/adoption attorney in the UK.

As to citizenship, your child will generally hold the citizenship of his/her country of birth, at the time you plan to bring him/her home to the UK. He/she will travel to the UK on a passport issued by his/her country of birth. Once you bring him/her to the UK, you can begin whatever processes your country requires to grant him/her citizenship. In the U.S., many children are eligible to become U.S. citizens as soon as they go through the immigration lines at the airport, because we have a law called the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, that grants automatic citizenship under certain specific conditions. However, that is probably not the case in the UK.

The world has not gone mad. You just have to understand that sovereign nations make laws regarding who may adopt, who may enter their borders, and who may become citizens.

Many many thanks Sharon
I realise you probably spent half an hour writing your response there, and I'd like to say thanks for covering just about all my points (even about the world going mad). Even though this was done from your perspective (the USA), it's still a good start in terms of who to contact and what might be possible. I read that the US were somewhat ahead in adoption legislation. If we do decide to adopt, I promise to post back here and let anyone else know who might be in a similar position to us.
"The Adoptions with a Foreign Element Regulations 2005".
I've done some more digging on this and the closest I can find are here:


It's called "The Adoptions with a Foreign Element Regulations 2005". It largely talks about a British (or EC country) resident who is "settled" in the UK and wants to adopt a foreign child. Nothing definitive, but I did see a quote about wanting to dissuade British Nationals from trying to import adopted children unless they had been through all the procedures. (The Hague Convention)

This may also be of interest: [url]http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/residency/intercountryadoption.pdf[/url]

If we have effectively adopted a child in Vietnam via the most official government agency possible, and we later wished to go and visit my mother in the UK, I wonder what the rules for allowing the child in the country for a holiday / vaccation are.

Hi there, how are you doing with the adoption? I am a vietnamese and hope you can start the procedure soon cause this is a long journey to go
Let me comment on one additional point. If you adopt from Vietnam, are living in Qatar, and hope to return to the U.K. in a couple of years, you actually have to deal with the issues of all three countries.

As an example, the adoption would have to be done according to the laws of Vietnam, and would probably have to be Hague-compliant since you are a U.K. citizen.

You would have to be sure that Qatar would allow you to immigrate the child under its legal system. You would also have to determine what the U.K. would require to immigrate the child when you decide to move back there.

As to citizenship, you would have to find out how to give your child U.K. citizenship, if you want him/her to have it, and would also have to find out whether Vietnam automatically removes Vietnamese citizenship from a child who is adopted internationally (as China does), or whether it will still consider your child a citizen of Vietnam throughout his/her life (as Russia does) unless the child reaches the age of majority and chooses to make a formal relinquishment of that citizenship. The child would not have citizenship in Qatar, since citizenship is usually conferred because of the birthplace of the child or the citizenship of the parents, unless there was a process for applying to make him/her a citizen.

In short, international adoption involves the legal systems of two or more countries. As a result, you need to use a highly experienced agency or, if you do not, to get legal counsel familiar with the laws of all of the countries involved.

Thanks for that Sharon
Update on where we are:
Despite a fibroid removal operation 6 months ago, which is supposed to improve our chances of success, we still have failed to make any babies, but will give it until the end of the year. At this time new idea is to try IVF with my wife AND a second surrogate mother to double the chances of success. We may of course be successful with both pregnancies, and I dread to think how the authorities will cope with that. In fact, I believe any children of mine (which they would be with IVF) have the right to a British Passport - so it should be no problem. If we fail with this then we will investigating taking children on from countries such as India or Central / South America, since the look would be the most similar to the both of us. d.
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