Tag Archives: Immigration

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.

No Dual Citizenship Allowed in Mongolia

Like all countries, Mongolia has specialized laws regarding immigration and nationality. The Mongolian Constitution indicates that the grounds and procedure for determining Mongolian nationality, or for acquisition or loss of citizenship shall be defined by the law.

The Current Law of Mongolia on Citizenship was enacted in 1995 and it has been updated four times since then. According to the law, Mongolian citizens shall not be allowed to hold citizenship of a foreign nation and maintain their Mongolian nationality. Further, if a foreigner wishes to acquire Mongolian citizenship, he or she is required to give up any prior citizenship.

Under Mongolian Law, there are four ways an individual may become a Mongolian Citizen:

  • If both of the parents of a child are Mongolian then the child is automatically Mongolian. It doesn’t matter where the child is born. (In some circumstances it is possible for Mongolian parents living abroad to request the child become a citizen of a foreign country.)
  • A child born to one Mongolian parent within the territory of Mongolia is also automatically Mongolian.
  • A child who is within the territory of Mongolia whose parents are not identified is designated a Mongolian citizen.
  • Individuals of foreign nationalities may apply for citizenship via the President’s office, or through a Mongolian embassy.
  • Mongolians who are adopted by foreigners maintain “the right to choose his/her own nationality” according to the Family law of Mongolia.

Interestingly, approximately 16 thousand Mongolian citizens report having a dual citizenship, with most of them are women and children. Over the last 20 years an estimated 59,000 citizens withdrew their Mongolian citizenship while citizenship was awarded to only 221 individuals (not including new births within Mongolia).

A total of 250 Mongolian children have been adopted by foreign citizens, including family members. There are concerns that the Law should be amended to allow an adopted child to maintain his/her native citizenship until turning 18 years old. Until this change is made, Mongolian law will not be aligned with international convention regarding rights of children.

For this reason, the President, Ts.Elbegdorj has proposed amendment of Law of Mongolia on Citizenship, and has submitted relevant drafts legislation to the Parliament for consideration. It is expected that this change will be officially passed later this year.