B.Khatantuul: Adopted children by foreigners are entitled to hold their Mongolian citizenship until the age of 16

Mongolia Immigration Agency

2017-08-24 11:14 GMT+8

The adoption of a Mongolian child by a foreigner is being governed under the guideline of those Conventions and by Mongolian “Family Law”, “Law on Legal Status of Foreign Nationals” and “Regulation on adoption procedure of Mongolian child by foreign nationals” Mongolian children who were fostered by US nationals came to their country of origin with their adoptive parents just before the Naadam Festival. Totally 71 Mongolian children were adopted by US nationals with the assistance of an international non-government organization named “Holt International” which functions for children’s well-being.  The “Holt International”, the intermediary adoption agency arranges a tour for adoptees to their country of origin, therefore, the children adopted by US nationals had arrived in Mongolia 10 years later to get familiar with Mongolian heritage, culture, and life.

We interviewed Ms. Khatantuul, Head of Citizenship Department of the Mongolia Immigration Agency, regarding the international adoption.

-Please provide an overview of an international adoption? 
-International adoption is allowed in the adoption system permitted states, when the principle of the best interests of a child can be the primary consideration, the basic right of an adoptee is conformed to an international law by the prospective adoptive parents, and suitable adoptive parents cannot be identified in the country of origin of the child.  In case of the international adoption, prospective adoptive parents must meet the legal adoption requirements of their country of residence and the nationality the child holds with the same safeguards and standards as national adoptions. A bilateral or multilateral agreement required in order to meet above-mentioned intention in required case.

-I would like to clarify legal arrangements of the adoption of a Mongolian child by a foreigner?
-Mongolia has ratified the “Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption” and the “United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child”. The Conventions precisely regulates the protection of children and rights and responsibilities of states parties which have recognized and/or permitted the system of adoption.

The adoption of a Mongolian child by a foreigner is being governed under the guideline of those Conventions and by Mongolian “Family Law”, “Law on Legal Status of Foreign Nationals” and “Regulation on adoption procedure of Mongolian child by foreign nationals” which was approved by cooperative order by the Minister of Justice and Home Affairs and the Minister of Social Welfare and Labor in 2001.

The adoption of a Mongolian child by a foreigner is being governed under the guideline of those Conventions and by Mongolian “Family Law”, “Law on Legal Status of Foreign Nationals” and “Regulation on adoption procedure of Mongolian child by foreign nationals” .

-How does Mongolia Immigration Agency monitor the Mongolian child after the international adoption?
-In order to implement the post-follow-up monitoring on the international adoption, the bilateral or trilateral agreement shall be signed by the prospective adoptive parents and an adoption agency in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The contract provides detailed information on adoptive parents’ obligation to provide the child with normal growth, safety, education, protection of right and no lacking to access of clothing, food, shelter and household facilities and with no violence as well as to avail possibilities of obtaining information about the custom, history and traditions of the child’s country origin.

According to the agreement, the adoptive parents must update Diplomatic Representative Office of Mongolia concerning the information of adoptive child every year. Moreover, the adoptee’s photo and video etc. which refers the normal growth of child, shall be sent to the Immigration Agency of Mongolia during the child’s age from 1 month to 3 years (once in every half year) and age of 4 to 8 (once a year) and from 8 to16 ages (once in two year).

If our organization defines it essential, the agreement comprises the estimated expense to monitor the living condition of child on-the-spot and the rights of an adoptee to hold Mongolian citizenship until the age of 16 and to choose her/his citizenship when they get 16 under the laws of Mongolia.

If adoptive parents change their place of residence, they are obliged to immediately notify the competent authorities of their residing country and Diplomatic Representative Office of Mongolia.

Another monitoring method is that the intermediary adoption agency is responsible to organize the journey to familiarize the internationally adoptive Mongolian child about the country of origin, in cooperation with our organization.

-Where does the expense charge from to monitor the adoptive child?
-The obligation is clearly defined in the agreement as the adoption agency and adoptive parents of the child are responsible to pay the expense incurred from the visit to monitor adoptee’s living condition on-the-spot and the journey of the child to their country of origin in accordance with the standard of international law to provide expense of control system.  For example, Mongolia Immigration Agency officers visited more than 70 Mongolian adoptees who were living in Italy, Germany, USA, France, Japan and South Korea to identify their living condition from 2011 to 2015.

-Are those adoptive children coming to Mongolia to know more about their country of origin?
-Seven children who were adopted in the year of 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006 by US nationals through the “Holt International” non-government organization have visited Mongolia for the very first time to be acquainted with Mongolian culture and heritage during July 4 -13, 2017 with the support of our organization.

They traveled to Elsen Tasarkhai, Kharkhorin, Tsonjinboldog and Terelj national park and also watched the Naadam Festival of Mongolian nationality as well as visited the Immigration Agency of Mongolia, Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor and the Embassy of the United States of America during their short period of stay in Mongolia.

The adoptees were expressing their views that they were glad to be familiar with the beautiful nature and traditions of Mongolia and expressed their fulfilled willingness to contribute to Mongolia in the future as they came to their home country after 10 years. It was a delightful moment for the children, their parents and for us.

A foreign national residing in Mongolia for a period at least six months shall submit his/her application for international adoption to the State central administrative body in charge of population matters of Mongolia, while the foreign nationals living outside of Mongolia shall request to the above mentioned Mongolian state organization through adoption regulatory institution of his/her residing country.

We will arrange this kind of journey further in collaboration with the adoption agencies, which can enlighten the children about their country of origin.

-Please provide us information on how the international adoption processes for Mongolian child?
-There are a number of complex processes that can be carried out in several stages.

A foreign national residing in Mongolia for a period at least six months shall submit his/her application for international adoption to the State central administrative body in charge of population matters of Mongolia, while the foreign nationals living outside of Mongolia shall request to the above mentioned Mongolian state organization through adoption regulatory institution of his/her residing country.

If the applicant is stated as eligible, the applicant shall submit a report containing information on their personal characteristics, suitability of the adoption, status of education, family and health information, history of the disease, social status, and reasons for adopting as well as personal abilities to get international adoption.

The state central administrative body in charge of population affair selects probable adoptive child and contacts with the prospective adoptive parents through the international adoption agency in case of adoption and inform our organization with comments and conclusions and other relevant documents.

Our organization reviews the relevant documents and see the condition of the child on-the-spot. And commission members make face to face meeting with prospective adoptive parents under the “Regulation on the procedure to interview foreign national who requests adoption of a Mongolian child” which was approved by the Director of the Mongolia Immigration Agency.

Interview with the prospective adoptive parents allows us to know their ideas, goals, the reason for adoption, parental health, education, employment, financial possibility, understanding on adoption, family history, future plans and health of adoptive child, characteristics of the child as well as adoptive parent’s attitude to socialize and educate the child.

The majority of the members of the commission makes a final conclusion after the interview and the meeting of Professional council discusses the adoption of Mongolian child by foreign national. Director of the Mongolia Immigration Agency issue an order based on the decision of the Professional Council.

-How many children are being adopted by foreigners each year?
-Since Mongolia ratified the “Hague Convention on Protection of Children and  Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption” in 1999, totally 266 children were adopted by foreign nationals from 17 countries including USA, Germany, South Korea, France, the Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Australia, England, Belgium, Japan, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Russia and New Zealand.

There were 149 male and 117 female in the adopted children. The highest numbers were 156 from the USA, 33 from Germany and 20 from France. There were 5 children adopted internationally in the year of 2015, similarly 5 children in 2016 and 1 child in 2017.

-In what cases does the child is refused to adopt or adoption is revoked?
-In case of international adoption of Mongolian child, the adoption is decided based on detailed supervision on the circumstance and interest of prospective adoptive parents.

The adoption is withdrawn if the following violation occurs. For example, if adoptive parents’ information does not comply with the information provided in the submission of the application, the false documents have been filed, the prospective parents do not know ways to solve the problem after adopting the child, the reason for adoption is uncertain, the ideas and goals of the adoptive parent are not combined and if they do not have information about the child.

Our organization has the right to cancel the adoption if it is proven that adoptive parents lost the child consciously and tortured, pledged, forced to prostitute, used a child for one’s profit, included in a law violation, abused the adoptee, kept the child in mental stress, avoided from the responsibility to take care the child intentionally and constantly used alcohol and drug, as well as if the adoptive parent lost their right to be parent in accordance with related laws, moreover, if the child’s right in agreements and laws for child protection is violated.  However, there is no adoptee whose right is violated until today.

-Thank you for the interview. 

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