In Vietnam, there are three main kinds of adopted child: formal adopted child, symbolic adopted child and pretended adopted child.
Formal adopted child
There are two sub kinds of adopted child in this type. The first one is the self-made adopted child. When a family don’t have son, they adopt a child from his bother or sister children. The age of the self-made adopted child is not important. He can be very young and fed by the foster family. He can be an adult or even he has his own family. The adopted child is responsible for caring his adoptive parent when they get old and worshiping them when they die. He has to be in mourning for his adoptive parent for 3 years as normal child of the family. Therefore after his adoptive passes away, he inherits the adoptive parent’s property. The property, which is inherited by the adopted child, can be much more than the daughter of adoptive parents because in Vietnamese belief, the daughter is the child of her husband’s parent after her get marriage. The self-made adopted child is accepted to be blood-relationship by relations. In case the adoptive parent has son after adopting, the self-made adopted child become a normal former adopted child. However, he still has right to inherit property of his adoptive parent like other their other Childs.
The second type of the formal adopted child is “Hạ phong tử” adopted child. There are some cases for to become a “Hạ phong tử” adopted child. The first case, if the adoptive family does not have any children. They adopt a child when the child was born. His or her mother gets some money as compensation. She has no right to claim or feed her child. In the second case, the illegitimate child was adopted. This child is not accepted to be blood-relationship by relations like self-made adopted child. In this case, he only has to be in mourning for his adoptive parent for 1 year. In the customs of some regions, the son-in-law can be adopted when his parent-in-law don’t have a son. He does not inherit from adoptive parent but his children. In this case, he only has to be in mourning for his adoptive parent for 1 year, the bother or sister of his wife nine months and he don’t wear for anyone else of his wife’s family.
This kind of adopted child is only symbolic as its name. When a family has a child which is incompatible with his parent according to horoscope, he is sold to become an adopted child of another family. After having a baby, the family invited the foster family into his house to see the face and give a name to the baby. After the baby become a symbolic of adopted child. When this baby grows up, the family takes this child to the foster family on 5th of Tet holiday each year. The hierarchy of the symbolic adopted child in foster family bases on his age. One important point is the decedents of the symbolic adopted child and the descendants of the child of the foster family must not marriage in three generations.
When a family has difficulties in fostering his child, or they are afraid of ghost pesters his child. They bring his child to the street and then other person will adopt this child as an adopted child. Of course, the agreement between the family and foster family was made before. And some hours later, the family ransoms his child back. In this case, the adoptive which is selected by the family has to be prolific.
Nowadays, an adoptive child has interests and duties like an offspring. These interests and duties are admitted by government based on the agreements between the adoptive parent and the parent of the adoptive child or the patron of the adoptive child in case the child do not have parent.