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In a joint press release received from Holt International and Dillon International by VVAI today;

Leaders from the two agencies met this week with Terrence West, Deputy Consular Chief of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, to discuss how the agencies and Department of State can cooperate to help the most vulnerable children.

Representative’s from both agencies commented on the program and their agencies participation in it.

“We look forward to working closely with the Department of State as they continue to provide strong leadership and support for this initiative,” said Susan Soonkeum Cox, vice president of policy and external affairs at Holt.

“Our goal is to find families for these waiting children, and we are so appreciative of the support of the U.S. State Department and the Department of Adoptions in Vietnam,” said Kyle Tresch, executive director of Dillon.

Visit Dillon International’s blog to read the press release.

The Department of State yesterday posted a notice regarding recent clarifications on the part of the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice.

 According to MOJ/DA, healthy children who live outside of orphanages currently do not qualify for the Special Adoption Program, even if they are aged five or older or are in biological sibling groups.

The MOJ/DA further stated that children in residential care must have a “List 2″ designation to be referred for inter-country adoption.  And, according to the notice, “Only provincial Departments of Justice are authorized to register as “List 2” children resident at government child care facilities.”  However, “Children not registered as “List 2”, but who have disabilities or life threatening diseases, and children with HIV/AIDS, may be eligible for intercountry adoption.”  In those cases, the MOJ may contact the provincial DOJ after first ascertaining that the prospective adoptive parents qualify and ask if there are children who meet those criteria.  From there, “The child’s guardian must submit documentation verifying the medical condition of the child as well as go through the full legal relinquishment process in Vietnam.”

The State Department’s notice also reiterated the requirement that all prospective adopters go through one of the two approved agencies, Holt International or Dillon International.  Holt currently has two waiting children from Vietnam posted on their website, both of whom have significant special needs.  Dillon’s Waiting Child page is password protected, and we do not know if they currently have any children from Vietnam on their photo listing.

For more information on the State Department’s notice click here.

For more information on Holt International’s Vietnam program click here.

For more information on Dillon International’s Vietnam program, click here.



Clarification (9/24):  As was stated in our earlier post, Dillon will accept applicants up to 55 years of age.  Also, Dillon lists the time from application to placement as “To Be Determined”.

Holt International has confirmed that the fees listed at the link below are up to date.  The adoption fee for Vietnam, which is country-specific and doesn’t include general agency fees, is listed at $11,360.



Dillon International reports that they have had “tremendous interest” in response to news about the new Vietnam adoption program.  They are hosting webinars to help answer people’s questions.  The next webinar will be Sunday, September 21st at 2pm Central Time (3pm Eastern, 12 noon Pacific).  They have also posted this short video to answer the most frequently asked questions:

For more information, see http://www.dillonadopt.com/vietnam/

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Holt International has also updated their website with more information about their program. The following information was added to their Vietnam page:

On September 16, 2014, Vietnam’s Central Adoption Authority granted Holt International a license to facilitate international adoption for children with special needs, children older than 5 years old and children who are part of singling groups — effectively ending a 6-year moratorium on adoption from Vietnam to the U.S. In addition, Holt continues to keep or place children in families in Vietnam through family strengthening and preservation, reunification and domestic adoption services. Working in partnership with the government of Vietnam, Holt provides emergency assistance, counseling and the basic financial, health, nutritional and educational support needed to stabilize struggling households.

They have also added a table listing the basic criteria for Vietnam adoptions. Like Dillon, Holt accepts married couples (minimum 2 years of marriage) and singles, between the ages of 25 and 50 years of age. Holt lists the maximum family size as 4 children, asking those with more than 4 children to contact them for guidance. They expect both parents to travel and that the trip will take 2-3 weeks. Holt anticipates it will take two to three years from application to placement. Holt International’s adoption fees are listed here, though it is unclear whether this chart has been updated since the new program was announced. Families interested in learning about Holt’s Vietnam program are encouraged to contact Jessica Palmer at jessicap@holtinternational.org


We will continue to post updates as we receive them.

As we reported on Friday, the U.S. State Department announced that adoptions with Vietnam are re-opening, on a limited basis.

Vietnam’s Central Adoption Authority, the Ministry of Justice, announced that it has authorized two U.S. adoption service providers to facilitate intercountry adoptions in Vietnam: 

            Dillon International, Inc.
Holt International Children’s Services, Inc.

Effective on September 16, the United States will process Hague Convention adoptions from Vietnam through a program for children with special needs, children aged five and older, and children in biological sibling groups (Special Adoption Program).

Soon after, the two agencies released their own Joint Announcement:

 “We are honored by the trust Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice has placed in our agencies to serve some of the nation’s most vulnerable children,” said Kyle Tresch, Dillon International’s executive director.

“Both Holt and Dillon consider it a privilege to continue in our long-standing commitments to meet the needs of children in Vietnam,” added Phillip Littleton, Holt International president and CEO. “We are grateful for all of the efforts of the Ministry of Justice to develop strategies to ensure ethical adoption practices in Vietnam and for the U.S. Department of State’s support for these efforts.”

Today the US Embassy in Vietnam posted details of the ceremony in which the agencies were officially given their licenses.

On September 16, 2014, Chargé d’Affaire Claire Pierangelo led the U.S. Mission delegation to attend a ceremony held by the Ministry of Justice of Vietnam, during which Mr. Nguyen Van Binh, Director of the Department of Adoptions, Ministry of Justice has officially presented the licenses to the representatives of two U.S. adoption service providers – Dillon International and Holt International Children’s Services

For those hoping for more detail about the program, USCIS posted this notice that clarifies the categories of children and how to go about starting the paperwork process:

Prospective Adoptive Parents Wishing to Pursue a Hague Convention Adoption in Vietnam

Under this Hague Adoption Convention Special Adoption Program, U.S. prospective adoptive parents must work with an Adoption Service Provider (ASP) that has been authorized by Vietnam to facilitate intercountry adoptions under the Special Adoption Program and may only seek to adopt a child or children from Vietnam referred by the Vietnamese Central Authority:

Who has/have special needs;

Who is/are age five and older; or

Who are in a biological sibling group.

If the child you are intending to adopt meets one or more of these qualifications, your adoption case can proceed under the Hague Adoption Convention Special Adoption Program.

Note: USCIS will not approve any Hague Adoption Convention petitions for children from Vietnam who do not meet one or more of these three categories under the Special Adoption Program, or who were not referred by the Vietnamese Central Authority.  Additionally, USCIS will deny any Form I-800 petition where an ASP was used in Vietnam that was not authorized to facilitate intercountry adoptions under the Special Adoption Program.

Dillon International has begun posting information on their website about the new program.  In addition to the requirements mentioned by USCIS, Dillon lists requirements that applicants be between 25-55 years of age, married a minimum of two years and have a maximum of five children already in the home.  Single applicants will also be accepted.  Dillon says both parents will be required to travel and stay in Vietnam for approximately 2-3 weeks.  The overall predicted cost of adopting from Vietnam with Dillon is $25,955 – $32, 165.  It appears that the Vietnamese government fees cover about $8000 of that total amount.  (We are still in the process of researching the exact fees required by the Vietnamese government. )

Holt International also posted an announcement on their website, but have not yet posted any additional information about their program and fees.

As to the exact definition of “Special Needs” the best information we have comes from a December 2011 Vietnamese Decree Document.

Article 3. Disable, dangerous disease children are specific adopted

Disable, dangerous disease children are specific adopted under provisions in point d clause 2 Article 28 of Law on Adoption include: children with cleft lip and cleft palate, children who are blinded with one or two eyes; mutism, deaf; dumb; children with curved arms or legs, children with missing fingers, hands, foot (feet), toes, children infected with HIV; children with heart diseases; children with navel, groin, belly hernia; children without an anus or sexual organ; children with blood disease; children with diseases requiring life-long treatment; children with other disabilities or dangerous disease which restricting the chances of adoption.


For more information, Dillon International’s contact is Jynger Roberts jynger@dillonadopt.com (918) 749-4600.  Holt invites interested applicants to contact them through their online webform.

We will continue to post updates and news as we receive them.

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