How long does it take to receive a proposed placement of a child from the time I register with HHAMA?
It is impossible to give a time frame as to when you will receive a proposed placement. The time frame changes constantly depending on the following factors:
||the number of people who have registered ahead of you
||your home study recommendation
||your own preferences (i.e. age of child, medical background, gender of child, and so on)
||the number of proposed placements eligible in Vietnam at a given time
All of these factors are outside HHAMA’s control. HHAMA will notify you immediately once there is a proposed placement for you.
If I register at the same time as friends, will we be travelling together?
There is no guarantee that you will receive a proposed placement of a child at the same time as your friends. They may have different preferences and home study recommendations. There may not be a child that matches you eligible in Vietnam at the time or you may receive a proposed placement from a different province. HHAMA have strict confidentially rules, therefore we cannot divulge any information to applicants about other applicants, so if a friend gets a proposed placement or a travel date before you we cannot discuss this with you. In addition it is the Vietnamese authorities who issue travel dates and it is outside the control of the agency.
How long does it take to receive a travel date from the time I receive a proposed placement of a child?
It is impossible to give a definite time frame. It depends on legal processes and the child’s paperwork being complete in Vietnam. After you have accepted your proposed placement HHAMA notifies the authorities in Vietnam of your acceptance. The authorities then begin the process of preparing the child’s dossier for the Giving and Receiving Ceremony. The child’s paperwork is reviewed to ensure all is in order to ensure the adoption is complete and legal. Under Vietnamese law the Vietnamese authorities have 120 WORKING days to complete this paperwork and the legal process involved prior to the issuing a travel date. In addition, the Vietnamese authorities can apply for an extension of a further 30 working days if necessary. You will receive a travel date only when the child’s paperwork is completed legally and completely in Vietnam.
Applicants who have a received a proposed placement after you, even from the same province, may receive a travel date before you. The Vietnamese authorities do not issue travel dates in chronological order. They are issued when the child’s paperwork is ready. At this stage the authorities notify HHAMA with the applicants’ travel date. HHAMA then notifies you immediately.
NB: The process of issuing travel dates and the timing of this is completely outside of HHAMA’s control.
After I receive my proposed placement will I get updates on the child’s progress and on when I might be travelling?
No. The Vietnamese authorities will not discuss any individual case with HHAMA unless the proposed placement cannot proceed to adoption. Therefore while you are waiting on your travel date, the Vietnamese authorities will not update HHAMA on the child or the child’s paperwork and therefore HHAMA will have no indication or information regarding when you may be travelling to Vietnam or on the child’s progress. The first time HHAMA will receive information is when we receive a travel date for you.
HHAMA cannot influence this process as the legality of the adoption and the best interest of the child are our key priorities.
While I am waiting on a travel date can I send out medicine/food/toys to the child and can I receive updated photographs of the child?
No. The child is in care of the state and the social care centre is responsible for the care of the child and the day to day decisions to be made regarding the child. Each child is treated the same in the social care centre whether they are matched for adoption or whether they will be remaining in the social care centre long term. The Vietnamese authorities strongly put forward that the child is not applicant’s child until the G+R ceremony has taken place therefore neither applicants nor HHAMA have input into the care of a specific child and furthermore will not be given updated photographs of the child for this same reason.
Will I be guaranteed a healthy child?
Whether children are birth children or adopted there are no guarantees on health. HHAMA cannot guarantee the health of any child. Children are placed in social care centres for many reasons, which are often social or economic. Sometimes the child is born in the local hospital. Sometimes the child is brought to the social care centre by a relative or the police having been left to be found. HHAMA works with the social care centres and not with the birth parents and do not receive information on the birth family. Children living in orphanages are generally underweight, under stimulated and suffer from malnutrition. Medical reports are limited to minimal examination shortly after the child is taken into the care of the social care centre. Conditions such as scabies, headlice, skin rashes, chest infections, coughs, diarrhoea, pneumonia and ear infections are common. Hepatitis B is also a common infection in third world countries so applicants should be prepared for the fact that there is a high chance that their child may have this. Furthermore some infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis B, have an incubation period and may not show on the blood tests but may come to light later. Most of the children have never received individual attention, and as a result show some delayed emotional or physical development. There is always the possibility that a child will arrive with an undiagnosed health problem or that a medical condition may only become apparent some time after the adoption has taken place. HHAMA cannot accept responsibility for the health of the child nor for any medical conditions which may transpire at a later stage.
Must I travel to the Vietnam to complete the adoption?
Yes. You must be present to sign paperwork and at the legal proceedings in the country of origin. Seeing the child is also a pre adoptive requirement. When adopting from Vietnam, you are required to make one trip to the country and be prepared to stay there for 3 -6 weeks.
If a couple are adopting, do we both have to travel to get our child?
Yes. In the case of a joint application (married couple), BOTH applicants must travel to complete the adoption process.
How much notice will I be given to travel?
You will be given 1 to 4 weeks notice.
When I am given a travel date is this date negotiable with the Vietnamese Authorities?
The travel date you receive from the Vietnamese Authorities is not negotiable.
What happens when I arrive in Vietnam?
You will contact the HHAMA Vietnam staff after you have checked into your hotel. They will inform you of the arrangements for your first visit to the social care centre.
You will have approximately 2/3 visits to the social care centre to visit the child. You will then have the Giving and Receiving ceremony in the province where the child resides. HHAMA Vietnam staff will accompany you on your visits, to the Giving and Receiving Ceremony and when applying for and collecting the child’s passport.
It is important to be aware that until the adoption order is signed at the Giving and Receiving Ceremony the child is not legally your child. Circumstances may change the child’s eligibility status right up to the time of the Giving and Receiving Ceremony e.g. the birth family may decide they are in a position to take care of the child or the child may become seriously ill.
You can also change your decision right up to the time of this signing. Once the decision has been signed at the Giving and Receiving Ceremony the child is legally your child and you have the same responsibility towards the child as a child born to you.
Can I request an express passport for the child in Vietnam in order to go home earlier?
No. Express passports are no longer available as standard, so please do not request one unless your situation is exceptional. In exceptional circumstances you will need to contact the Irish Embassy in Vietnam and supporting documentation will be required.
How often do older children come available for adoption in Vietnam?
The majority of proposed placements we receive from Vietnam are under 6 months of age at time of referral. Older children do not become eligible for adoption regularly in Vietnam. It is impossible to estimate a time frame for receiving a proposed placement of an older child.
How often do twins or siblings come available for adoption in Vietnam?
Proposed placements of twins or siblings are extremely rare. It is impossible to estimate a time frame for receiving a proposed placement of twins or siblings.