Category Archives: Family

Adopting a Mongolian Child: Cause for Refusal, Termination and Monitoring Systems

We are continuing our series on international adoption of a Mongolian child. In our first post, we reviewed the legal framework of the international adoption system. Our second post listed the specific steps required to apply for adoption of a Mongolian child. In this post we will take a closer look at potential legal grounds for a refusal of the adoption application, and we will review the monitoring mechanisms in place to ensure the adoption is a success, and beneficial to the child.

An application for international adoption will be rejected if it is found that false information or false documents have been submitted or the information and documentation provided in the application does not comply with the real circumstance of the adopting parents. This is simple and expected, potential adoptive parents must be truthful and forthcoming on their adoption application papers.

The application may also be denied if the examining officers feel that the prospective parent’s reasons for the adoption are uncertain or suspect; or where the adoptive parents’ ideas and goals for the adoption and subsequent rearing of the child are divergent and their opinions are not unified.

After the adoption is approved, a bilateral or trilateral agreement shall be signed by the adoptive parents and an adoption agency in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, this is required to finalize the adoption legally. The contract provides detailed information on adoptive parents’ obligation to provide the child with normal opportunities for growth, safety, education, and protection of rights.

Normally, the adoption agreement with include provisions requiring the adoptive parents to submit updated information about the child to the Diplomatic Representative Office of Mongolia each year until the child reaches the age of 16. If the adoptive parents change their place of residence, they are obliged to immediately notify the competent authorities of their country of residence and Diplomatic Representative Office of Mongolia. Additionally, the intermediary adoption agency will responsible to organize visitation to ensure the adopted child’s situation.

Over the course of the adoption, the Immigration Agency of Mongolia will maintain the right to terminate the adoption arrangement if it is proven that the adoptive parents consciously lost the child, or engaged in any activity not beneficial for the child’s best interest, such as physical, mental, or sexual abuse or neglect of the child, or drug use by the parents. The adoption will also be canceled if the parents lose the right to act as adoptive parents under the domestic laws of their country of residence, or where the child’s rights as set out in the adoption agreement, or local laws regarding child protection are violated.

Adopting a Mongolian Child: International Adoption Procedure

Adoption of a Mongolian child by a foreign individual or couple is a complex procedure requiring several stages. As we mentioned in our previous post, the adopting parents are firstly required to obtain approval for adoption in their home country.

The prospective parents must then submit their adoption application via their home country’s adoption system, which will forward the application to the appropriate body in Mongolia. If a prospective foreign parent has resided in Mongolia for over six months, the international adoption application shall be submitted directly to the government central administrative body in charge of population matters of Mongolia (the “State authority”).

The applicant must submit a report containing information on their personal characteristics, presenting their suitability of the adoption, their educational status, information regarding their family background and health information, their history of the disease, income and social status. The adopter must also describe their reasons for adopting.

After review and approval of the international adoption application the State authority will select a probable adoptive child and initiate contact with the prospective adoptive parents through the international adoption agency.

The Immigration Agency of Mongolia will review the relevant adoption documents, and will examine and make a decision on the condition of the child and suitability for adoption. An adoption commission will conduct a face to face interview with the prospective adoptive parents, as required by the Mongolian “Regulation on the Procedure to Interview Foreign National Requesting Adoption of a Mongolian Child”. The regulation is approved and implemented directly by the head of the Immigration Agency of Mongolia.

The purpose of interview with the prospective adoptive parents is obtain a better understanding of the parents ideas, goals, the reasons for adoption, and to gauge their parental fitness, education, employment, financial prospects, understanding of the responsibilities of adoption, understand their family history, determine future plans. The interview will also assess the prospective parent’s ability to care for the health of adoptive child, the appropriateness of the parent to match the characteristics of the child, as well as ensuring the adoptive parent’s attitude toward and ability to socialize and educate the child.

The final decision to approve the international adoption will be made by the majority vote of the members of the commission after the interview with adoptive parents. If the adoption is approved, the Head of the Immigration Agency of Mongolia will issue an approval order based on the decision.

Throughout the process, it is beneficial for prospective parents to have a local contact or legal support to liaise with government officials to assist in responding to questions or concerns of the reviewing officials.

Adopting a Mongolian Child: The International Adoption Framework

Every so often, our Mongolian lawyers receive an inquiry from a foreign couple, usually from the USA or Europe, seeking to adopt a Mongolian child.  When we get one of these inquiries, the first thing we do is explain some of the background to the international legal issues to the couple, then we get into the specifics of international adoption in Mongolia.

The adoption of a Mongolian child by a foreigner is governed under a few international Hague Conventions and by the Mongolia Family Law, Law on Legal Status of Foreign Nationals, and specifically by the Regulation on Procedure for Adoption of a Mongolian Child by Foreign Nationals.

From the international perspective, Mongolia has ratified the “Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child”. These two international conventions set specific rules for the protection of children and outline the rights and responsibilities of countries as regards international adoption.

In the event of suitable adoptive parents cannot be identified in the country of origin of the child, international adoption is allowed. Under these conventions, the best interests of the child is the primary consideration, and is a basic right of the child to be adopted and must be confirmed by the prospective adoptive parents. In an international adoption, the prospective adoptive parents must meet the legal adoption requirements of their country of residence. The adoption must also meet the same safeguards and standards as applied to internal adoptions within the child’s country of birth.

So, for foreign couples considering adoption of a Mongolian child, the first step will be to obtain adoption approval in the country of the couple’s current residence. In our next post we will review the specific international procedures, and local Mongolian process for adoption.